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Breaking News Alert Poll: Voters Say Stopping Biden's Border Invasion Is More Important Than Funding Ukraine

Speaker Mike Johnson Will Be Firing Himself If He Caves On Ukraine

Mike Johnson can expect an embarrassingly brief tenure as speaker if he caves to the McConnell caucus on Ukraine.

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Rep. Mike Johnson can expect an embarrassingly brief tenure in the House speakers’ chair if he bows to Senate demands the lower chamber help send yet more subsidies for war in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, senators voted 70 to 29 in favor of a $95 billion spending package with more than $60 billion for Ukraine. The bill would also give $14 billion to Israel and $10 billion to “humanitarian” efforts abroad. The legislation brings U.S. taxpayers’ payout for the proxy war in Ukraine to more than $170 billion, according to The New York Times. The bill was the project of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who celebrated its passage with a Thursday statement.

“For three years, a policy of hesitation, short-sightedness, and self-deterrence led the world to wonder whether the United States still has the resolve to face growing, coordinated threats,” McConnell said. “But today, the Senate responded by reaffirming a commitment to rebuild and modernize our military, restore our credibility, and give the current Commander-in-Chief, as well as the next, more tools to secure our interests.”

Not included in the supplemental security package were provisions for the border as states struggle under the years-long U.S. border invasion. Last week, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford became the face of a fatal border deal when lawmakers unveiled a $118 billion cruel joke that would have sanctioned more than 5,000 permanent crossings per day and asylum for all.

“This is a very bad bill for [Lankford’s] career,” former President Donald Trump said bluntly, “especially in Oklahoma.”

Lankford drew attacks from colleagues and the conservative press after his home state GOP formally censured him for working for Democrats. But while Lankford ran the gauntlet on the border bill, the entire debacle presented a newfound threat to McConnell’s role in leadership.

“[McConnell] didn’t just bless the deal. He wrote the deal,” said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrats’ lead negotiator on the bill. The GOP Senate leader’s team “were in the room every single day.”

McConnell’s hand in the bill was obvious from the moment it was released, leading several Senate Republicans to renew calls for new leadership.

“A Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans,” said Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz at a Capitol Hill press conference. Cruz stood alongside Florida Sen. Rick Scott, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, and Missouri Sen. Eric Schmitt. “Everyone here also supported the leadership challenge to Mitch McConnell in November [2022,],” the senator from Texas added.

Johnson also openly mocked the Republican Senate chief with a Charlie Brown meme on X.

“Border failures put McConnell under tough new microscope,” headlined Axios last week. “McConnell has emerged from past challenges to his leadership unscathed, but the border failure is reigniting his critics.”

Now Johnson is in the hot seat as Senate Republicans threaten to embarrass the leader of the House with an obscure legislative maneuver, highlighting his weakness as speaker. As the Senate prepared to move the latest foreign welfare package Monday, Johnson tossed cold water on the bill, demanding “better than the Senate’s status quo.”

“[In] the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said.

The Hill reported Tuesday that Republican senators had already discussed a discharge petition with members of the House to force a floor vote on the foreign war funding package.

“House Democrats have a ‘ripe’ discharge petition, a hangover from last year’s debt limit debacle, that includes 213 signatures — five shy of the 218 needed to force legislation to the floor,” the outlet reported, although some Democrats would be likely to drop over increasing U.S. funds to Israel. “Getting even a handful of Republicans to sign on will be a heavy lift, since joining a discharge petition while in the majority marks a major rebuke of leadership.”

Johnson faces limited options. The speaker can hold fast to demand U.S. border enforcement, or he can capitulate to Senate Republicans attempting to intimidate Johnson with threats to circumvent his office. Genuine border reform might be unlikely, but demanding it would be far less embarrassing to the speaker than caving to Senate Republicans to pass yet another pack of cash for a deeply unpopular war in Ukraine.

Everyone already knows Johnson is a weak speaker presiding over a divided conference with a narrow-thin majority. No discharge petition will reveal anything the public doesn’t already know.

Republicans remain overwhelmingly opposed to endless Ukraine checks pushed by Washington DC lobbyists. A NBC News survey out last fall found just 35 percent of Republican voters support additional funds for Ukraine. Another poll from Gallup out the same month shows a plurality of Americans believe the United States is doing too much to prop up Kyiv, with skepticism highest among Republicans.

In other words, Lankford and McConnell were raked over the coals for good reason. Johnson could be next.


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