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Johnson says House will vote on Israel bill in coming days

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) holds a press conference following a House GOP caucus meeting at the U.S Capitol on April 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. The Republicans in the House of Representatives held a closed door meeting as they prepare to deliver the Articles of Impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)  (Samuel Corum)
By Catie Edmondson New York Times

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday after Iran’s overnight attack on Israel that the House would vote in the coming days on aid for Israel, and he suggested that aid for Ukraine could be included in the legislation.

“House Republicans and the Republican Party understand the necessity of standing with Israel,” Johnson said on Fox News, noting that he had previously advanced two aid bills to help the U.S. ally. “We’re going to try again this week, and the details of that package are being put together. Right now, we’re looking at the options and all these supplemental issues.”

U.S. funding for both Israel and Ukraine has languished in Congress; Johnson initially refused to take up a $95 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan passed by the Senate, and the Senate refused to take up a House Republican proposal that conditioned aid to Israel on domestic spending cuts.

In recent weeks, Johnson has repeatedly vowed to ensure that the House moves to assist Ukraine. He has been searching for a way to structure a foreign aid package that could secure a critical mass of support amid Republican resistance to sending aid to Ukraine and mounting opposition among Democrats to unfettered military aid for Israel.

But the attacks from Iran have ratcheted up the pressure on Johnson to bring some kind of package to the floor this week, potentially forcing him to make a decision he has been agonizing over for weeks.

He left unclear Sunday whether the legislation he said the House would advance this week would also include aid for Ukraine.

Johnson said he believed that some proposals around Ukraine aid enjoyed broad support among House Republicans. He noted that he met with former President Donald Trump on Friday at his estate in Florida and that Trump had been supportive of conditioning the aid as a loan.

“I think these are ideas that I think can get consensus, and that’s what we’ve been working through,” Johnson said. “We’ll send our package. We’ll put something together and send it to the Senate and get these obligations completed.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.