The Senate wants the speaker to include aid for Ukraine in the spending pact

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A Senate Democrat threatened to vote against a second package to fund the government unless House Speaker Mike Johnson adds Ukraine aid to the mix.
Lawmakers in both chambers want to send more money to the war-beleaguered country, a process snagged in the GOP-led House.
Mr. Johnson, Louisiana Republican, faces pressure to decide on Ukraine aid and signaled during the GOP’s retreat in West Virginia this week that he anticipates putting Ukraine and Israel aid, together or separately, up for a vote.
But in comments to Politico, he stressed that aid won’t be attached to the package to fund the remaining six government agencies, a pact expected to be released Sunday.
Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado Democrat, said on Friday that the speaker’s comment made it clear that “he doesn’t have a real plan to pass Ukraine aid.”“That is unacceptable,” Mr. Bennet posted on X.
“As I said yesterday, the government funding package should include Ukraine aid.
Democrats should reject it if it doesn’t.”Should his colleagues heed Mr. Bennet’s calls in the Democrat-led Senate, it could mean a partial government shutdown, which Mr. Johnson and other congressional leaders have been trying to avoid the past six months.
It’s a similar play from the House GOP’s playbook, where different factions of the conference have threatened to shutter the government or kill innocuous legislation as a bargaining chip to get what they want.
Congress has until March 22 to fully fund the government, and Mr. Johnson hopes to put an end to the fight he inherited after winning the gavel last fall.
Aside from Mr. Bennet’s sentiments, the next six-bill package could face issues on its own, particularly over policy division with the Homeland Security funding bill.
Any chance for Ukraine aid to appear on the House floor likely won’t come until mid-April because Congress is set to take a two-week recess following March 22.
That could change if the funding package hits a snag and a partial government shutdown ensues.
• Alex Miller can be reached at amiller@washingtontimes.com.

If House Speaker Mike Johnson does not include aid for Ukraine in the second government funding package, a Senate Democrat has threatened to vote against it.

The goal of lawmakers in both houses is to increase aid to the nation ravaged by war, although the GOP-led House is blocking this effort.

Dear Mr. The Louisiana Republican, Johnson, indicated this week during the GOP retreat in West Virginia that he expects to put Israel and Ukraine aid, either jointly or separately, to a vote. Johnson is under pressure to make a decision regarding aid to Ukraine.

In an interview with Politico, however, he emphasized that aid would not be part of the agreement to finance the final six government agencies—a deal that is anticipated to be unveiled on Sunday.

Sen. The speaker’s statement made it apparent that “he doesn’t have a real plan to pass Ukraine aid,” according to Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet, who made this statement on Friday. “.

On X, Mr. Bennet wrote, “That is unacceptable.”. “As I stated yesterday, aid for Ukraine should be included in the government funding package. And if it doesn’t, Democrats ought to reject it. “.

Mr. Johnson and other congressional leaders have been attempting to prevent a partial government shutdown for the past six months, and if his colleagues in the Democratic-led Senate take Mr. Bennet’s calls seriously, it may result in one.

Several conference factions have threatened to shut down the government or veto legislation as a negotiating tool to get what they want. This is reminiscent of a play from the House GOP playbook.

After taking over the gavel last fall, Mr. Johnson intends to end the battle that he inherited by giving Congress until March 22 to fully fund the government.

Apart from Mr. Dot Bennet’s opinions, there could be problems with the upcoming six-bill package on its own, especially with regard to policy disagreements with the Homeland Security funding bill.

Since Congress will be on a two-week recess after March 22, there is unlikely to be a chance for Ukraine aid to be discussed on the House floor until mid-April. That could alter in the event that a partial government shutdown results from a snag in the funding package.

You can contact Alex Miller at amiller@washingtontimes.com.

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