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Johnson unveils plan to fund Israel, Ukraine in closed-door House GOP meeting

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., unveiled a plan for moving foreign aid through the House of Representatives during a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers on Monday. 

The Republican leader had been under pressure to act on Israel and Ukraine funding as the situation in both conflicts grows more dire, while also navigating fraught divisions in the House GOP conference over conditions for giving aid overseas.

Under Johnson’s tentative plan, aid for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel would all be considered as separate bills, according to two lawmakers present at the meeting. A fourth bill would combine miscellaneous national security priorities, including the House’s recently passed bill that could pave the way to a TikTok ban and the REPO Act, a bipartisan measure to liquefy seized Russian assets and send that money to Ukraine.

Johnson indicated to reporters after the meeting that he anticipates a vote on the bills by Friday.

‘We won’t be voting on the Senate supplemental in its current form, but we will vote on each of these measures separately in four different pieces. We will vote on the Israel aid, on the aid to Ukraine, on the aid to the Indo-Pacific, and then another measure that has our national security priorities included in [it] that has some of the things with regard to the loan-lease option and the REPO Act and some other sanctions on Iran and other measures that we’ve been talking about here for quite some time,’ he said.

Johnson added that the bills, the text of which is expected early on Tuesday, will allow for members to offer amendments.

He said later that he expects the funding levels to be ‘roughly the same’ as the Senate’s $95 billion bipartisan supplemental aid package, which included money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and humanitarian causes like Gaza.

Breaking apart the Senate’s supplemental package was an idea backed by a significant share of House Republicans. However, it also appears to be a move aimed at appeasing fiscal hawks on Johnson’s right flank who otherwise would have likely attempted to block the bills from getting to the floor.

The two GOP lawmakers who shared details of the plan with Fox News Digital said there was more support for the plan in the room than opposition.

‘I think it’s a good plan. I don’t know that I’ll support every single subject bill, but this is the way the House should work,’ Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., told Fox News Digital after the meeting.

Mace added that several members, including herself, urged Johnson to include some border security measures, which do not appear to be part of the latest proposal.

Meanwhile, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., did not say if he’d support the measures but told reporters, ‘I think any time you separate these out to single subject bills, I think that’s a good strategy.’

But others, including members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, signaled they were still skeptical.

Both Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va., and its policy chair, Chip Roy, R-Texas, suggested they were not optimistic that border security measures would ultimately be part of the deal, despite their demands.

‘I think that the border security component will come from the members,’ Good told Fox News Digital. 

Good was also dissatisfied that the funding bills would not be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, as was the case with Johnson’s original $14 billion stand-alone Israel aid bill that passed the House in November.

‘We ought not to be borrowing to do any of these, and so some of us will absolutely make amendments to pay for this,’ he said.

And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has threatened to oust Johnson over his handling of government spending and foreign aid, trashed the plan after the meeting.

‘I just think it’s the wrong direction to go. Our border is the No. 1 policy issue that voters care about all across the country. And the Senate has not taken up … our border package that we sent over there; they’re just demanding that the House vote to fund Ukraine, vote to fund Taiwan and send more money to Israel, claiming that our military is running out of ammunition,’ Greene said.

‘Well, you want to know something? If these people in there cared about our military, why don’t we do a separate bill to fund and rebuild our military with ammunition and supplies without having to fund a foreign war to do that?’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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