House Speaker Mike Johnson negotiating with White House to advance Ukraine aid

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Mike Johnson is negotiating with the White House as he prepares for the treacherous task of advancing wartime funding for Ukraine and Israel through the House, a top House Republican said Thursday.

House Republican Leader Steve Scalise told reporters that Johnson had been talking with White House officials about a package that would deviate from the Senate’s $95 billion foreign security package and include several Republican demands. It comes after Johnson has delayed for months on advancing aid that would provide desperately needed ammunition and weaponry for Kyiv, trying to find the right time to advance a package that will be a painful political lift.


“There’s been no agreement reached,” Scalise said. “Obviously there would have to an agreement reached not just with the White House, but with our own members.”

Johnson, R-La., is being stretched between a Republican conference deeply divided in its support for Ukraine, as well as two presidential contenders at odds over the U.S.’s posture towards the rest of the world. President Joe Biden has repeatedly chastised Republicans for not helping Ukraine, saying they are doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin and hurting U.S. security. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, has said he would negotiate an end to the conflict as he tries to push the U.S. to a more isolationist stance.

The Republican speaker is set to travel to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Friday to meet with Trump and has been consulting him in recent weeks on the Ukraine funding to gain his support — or at least prevent him from openly opposing the package.

Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican who often works closely with House lawmakers, said this week he and Trump have spoken with Johnson “in depth” about how to advance Ukraine aid. It is not clear whether Trump would lend any political support, but Mullin said he was hoping to get the former president behind the package, especially now that Johnson’s job is at stake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email