Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
April 18, 2024

Facing a divided party and pressure to act, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) finally  rolled out three bills Wednesday to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, with the hope of holding final votes on Saturday night.

The Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024

The Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024

The Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024


The bills represent a major test of Speaker Johnson’s ability to navigate a thicket of political and global challenges with a razor thin House majority.  And it comes as Johnson faces a serious threat to his gavel from Representatives  Marjorie Taylor Greene, (R-Georgia) and Thomas Massie, (R-Kentucky).  Multiple Republicans say they oppose any funding for Ukraine, meaning that a significant share of Democrats will be required to carry that measure over the finish line. Many of the provisions in the bills resemble the package passed by the Senate in one bundle, which Johnson rejected and refused to put to a House vote.  Multiple House conservatives pushed back immediately on social media Wednesday after Johnson released the bills, complaining that the border measures he also proposed weren’t directly tied to Ukraine funding.  Johnson is counting on House Democrats and their leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), to provide the votes necessary to clear the way for it to come to the floor.  If Democrats were to provide those crucial votes, it would be the second time in two years that Republican leaders have had to turn to the minority party to rescue them from their own recalcitrant right-wing colleagues in order to allow major legislation to be debated and voted on.  For the legislation to come to the floor, he will need their votes on a procedural motion, known as a rule, something the minority party almost never backs in the House.  The dynamic also increases the likelihood that Mr. Johnson will need Democrats again — to save his precarious young speakership, now under threat from members of his party who are enraged at his strategy for sending aid to Ukraine and every day appear to be edging closer to calling a vote to oust him from his post.  The Rules Committee began a contentious meeting on the legislation at 10:00 A.M. today, with the hope of a final vote Saturday night.

The Senate will convene at 12:00 P.M. and is expected to continue work on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R.7888, to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

As the House awaits Rules Committee action on the supplementals it is expected to consider H. Res. 1143 – Condemning Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.