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Tags: mike johnson | ukraine | israel | aid | donald trump | repo act

Speaker Johnson to Newsmax: Send Bullets, Not Boys to Ukraine

By    |   Thursday, 18 April 2024 07:59 PM EDT

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Newsmax on Thursday that chamber Republicans have redrafted the foreign aid supplemental bill in a way that strengthens accountability but maintains the goal of not sending American soldiers to Ukraine.

One House provision is that aid to Ukraine be in the form of a loan rather than just handing over more money, an idea he credits to former President Donald Trump. In the end, though, Johnson said he wants to help Ukraine stave off Russia's aggression until Trump gets elected in November.

"I'd rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys," Johnson said on "The Record With Greta Van Susteren." "We don't want to have boots on the ground."

"And I think, Greta, very frankly, that Donald Trump, when he's elected, I think he can broker a peace over there. But we've got to at least allow the Ukrainians to defend themselves until we get to that point," he added.

The $95.3 billion supplemental that Johnson and House Republicans are crafting is broken into four parts: Israel, Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, and a fourth that is House "innovations," Johnson said.

"Then we have fourth bill that is in this package that has a lot of our innovations included, like the REPO Act, where we use the seized assets of corrupt Russian oligarchs to fund the opposition in Ukraine. Everybody thinks that makes sense," Johnson told host Greta Van Susteren. "President Trump is credited with really advancing this idea of the loan concept, to your point. And so what we've done is we say any of the funding that goes to Ukraine for this governmental assistance is in the form of a loan.

"We've also included a lot of other things like increasing sanctions against Iran and Russia. We're going to change the strategy and have a lot more oversight and accountability over the funds, because that's what the American people deserve," he added.

However, Johnson said, the House has to merge all four bills — or the ones that get passed anyway — before sending it back to the Senate.

"If we don't merge them back together when they go to the Senate, we will play right into the Democrats' hands. I'm convinced that [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer would fund Ukraine immediately and leave the rest of the items on the table," Johnson said. "So merging them to go to the Senate is to assist us to make sure the House jams the Senate with policy and not the other way around."

One of the pieces that Schumer would leave out if enabled, Johnson said, is the $26 billion in the House bill for support to Israel and humanitarian relief to Gazans.

"I think most people understand the necessity of this funding. [Israelis are] fighting for their very existence. They're the only stable democracy in the Middle East," Johnson said. "For those of us who are believers, it's a biblical admonition to stand with Israel. We will and they will prevail.

"And this is a very important symbolic gesture and a very important replenishment of their stockpiles, for example, of the Iron Dome. The reason they shot down all those drones and missiles in the last attack by Iran is because we assisted with that," Johnson added. "I think the American people understand the importance of that."

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Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Newsmax on Thursday that chamber Republicans have redrafted the foreign aid supplemental bill in a way that strengthens accountability but maintains the goal of not sending American soldiers to Ukraine.
mike johnson, ukraine, israel, aid, donald trump, repo act
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2024-59-18
Thursday, 18 April 2024 07:59 PM
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