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Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, stated in an interview with Fox News that the House of Representatives will be working on a supplemental national security and foreign aid funding package for Ukraine upon their return from recess. This comes after Republicans blocked a previous $118 billion package earlier this year, citing concerns about it not doing enough to address the ongoing border crisis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden have been pushing for a slimmer $95 billion package without border measures, which Johnson indicated may be considered.

Johnson outlined three key proposals for aid to Ukraine, including supporting the REPO Act, which would liquidate seized Russian assets and send the funds to Ukraine. He also mentioned former President Trump’s idea of providing aid in the form of a loan, with provisions for repayment if Ukraine wins the war against Russia. Additionally, Johnson highlighted the need to unleash American energy, particularly through natural gas exports, to help in defunding Vladimir Putin’s war effort in Ukraine. Critics have accused President Biden of sending mixed messages to Ukraine by pausing exports of liquefied natural gas, which could potentially help fund Russia’s invasion.

Amid increasing bipartisan pressure to provide aid to Ukraine as the situation worsens, Johnson is also facing criticism from a faction on his right flank for supporting such aid. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who previously filed a motion to oust Johnson over a bipartisan government funding deal, criticized him for considering further funding for Ukraine while, in her view, neglecting issues such as border security. Johnson responded by stating that he and Greene had exchanged text messages and planned to speak next week to discuss the situation and potential aid to Ukraine further.

There has been ongoing debate within Congress about the best way to support Ukraine, with different proposals being considered to provide assistance. Johnson’s comments indicate that there may be progress in securing additional funding for Ukraine in the near future, with a focus on innovative approaches to address the situation. Lawmakers will be returning to the House of Representatives after their recess to work on this issue, with a potential focus on consensus-building around aid to Ukraine. It remains to be seen how these discussions will play out, and what form the final aid package for Ukraine will take.

The issue of aid to Ukraine is complex, with considerations such as national security, foreign policy, and domestic priorities all coming into play. Finding a balance between these competing interests is crucial in determining the path forward for assistance to Ukraine. Johnson’s efforts to build consensus around a new funding package for Ukraine reflect the ongoing challenges and debates within Congress on this issue. As the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, the need for timely and effective aid remains pressing, with lawmakers working to find the best possible solutions to support the country in its conflict with Russia.

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