Dems Make 'Unprecedented' Move to Bail Out Speaker Mike Johnson

Dems Make 'Unprecedented' Move to Bail Out Speaker Mike Johnson

Efforts by conservative Republicans to prevent a House vote on foreign aid bills to Ukraine, Israel and Pacific allies failed Thursday after Democrats intervened.

The four bills include another $60.84 billion in taxpayer money for Ukraine, $26.38 billion for Israel and $8.12 billion for Pacific allies such as Taiwan. A fourth bill would demand TikTok’s parent company sell it or force a ban on the Chinese app in the U.S., according to The Hill.

House Speaker Mike Johnson’s effort to have a vote on the proposals this weekend almost ground to a halt Thursday when three Republicans — Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Chip Roy of Texas – opposed sending the bills to the floor, according to Axios.

Their opposition would have meant the bills died then and there, but Democratic members voted with five Rules Committee Republicans to bring the bills to the floor of the House.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan said the bipartisan action was “unprecedented.”

Such an action on the committee has never happened “in the time that I’ve been here,” said Kildee, who has been in Congress for more than 10 years.

“I think it’s highly unusual … I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that happen,” Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle of New York said.

The five Republicans who joined with the Democrats to defeat the GOP rebellion were Reps. Michael Burgess of Texas, Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania, Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Nicholas Langworthy of New York and Austin Scott of Georgia.

Democratic intervention is likely to be needed Friday amid more procedural votes that presage a vote on the bills, but Kildee said that is likely to take place.

“In for a penny, in for a pound,” he said.

Ukraine aid is an issue that has fractured the GOP. Some Republicans have said moving forward with the latest massive aid package could cost Johnson the speakership.

But the Louisiana Republican called aid to Ukraine “critically important,” according to CBS News.

“If I operated out of fear over a motion to vacate, I would never be able to do my job,” Johnson said.

“Look, history judges us for what we do,” he said. “This is a critical time right now critical time on the world stage. I could make a, you know, I can make a selfish decision and do something that’s different. But I’m doing here what I believe to be the right thing.”

In light of that, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said “this could be the beginning of the end for the speaker.”

A motion to vacate, which is the mechanism for deposing a speaker, has been filed by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has not yet brought it to the floor.

Capitol Hill speculation has focused on Greene’s deep antipathy to Ukraine aid as a possible trigger for a vote to remove Johnson.

“I don’t care if the speaker’s office becomes a revolving door,” the congresswoman said Thursday, according to The Washington Post.

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