House Speaker Suggests Innovative Ways to Fund Ukraine

( – Republican House Speaker and Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson has suggested “important innovations” to a proposed aid package to Ukraine that could include loans and money obtained from assets seized from Russian oligarchs. When speaking to Fox News on Sunday Night in America, Johnson appeared enthusiastic about the idea of supporting Ukraine with a loan rather than donating $61 billion. $113 billion has already been approved by Congress in response to Russia’s invasion of the country in February 2022. Representatives are due to reconvene on Capitol Hill on April 9 after being on a district work period.

Johnson described the notion of seizing Russian oligarchs’ assets to fund Ukraine’s fight against the Kremlin as “pure poetry.” He noted that former President Donald Trump has discussed the loan concept as well, which would expect the war-torn Eastern European state to pay back the funds to the U.S. “when the time is right.”

Johnson is facing mounting pressure from several Republicans after he sided with Democrats to approve funding to Ukraine. George Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been vocal in her opposition to sending more money to Ukraine, was particularly adamant that Johnson should be replaced, filing a motion in March to boot the speaker from his position. Political commentator Errol Lewis said Johnson would have to “bare his fangs” and push back against his critics among the Republicans. Johnson commented on Fox that they were on a mission to “save the republic” and that they do not need any dissension now.

Greene’s attempt to oust Johnson is largely opposed by the Republicans; House Freedom Caucus Chair and Virginia Representative Bob Good suggested she is on a “revenge tour” after Republican California Representative Kevin McCarthy was forced out of the role by a similar motion in October 2023. Good instead stressed the need to influence the Speaker to do the right thing.

Johnson also stated that he wishes to support U.S. energy to clamp down on Russian gas exports that are helping fund the Kremlin’s war effort. Johnson argued that there are many options that make more sense and shared his thoughts that the House will reach a common consensus. He said they would be assembling the “product” and moving it forward as soon as the district work period ends.

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