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US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson will try to approve aid to Israel this week

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson said on Sunday he would try to pass aid to Israel this week after Iran’s massive drone and missile attack, but he did not say whether the legislation would also include aid to would include Ukraine and other allies. .

Johnson, struggling to unite his divided Republican majority and avoid an impeachment threat, recounted two failed attempts to pass standalone aid to Israel.

“We’re going to try again this week, and the details of that package are being put together now. We’re looking at the options and all these additional issues,” Johnson told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” program. .

Johnson’s office declined to provide further details.

Johnson spoke after Steve Scalise, the House of Representatives’ No. 2 Republican, said the House will respond to Iran’s attack with “legislation that supports our ally Israel and holds Iran and its terrorist allies accountable,” without to provide details.

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Johnson was expected to meet later on Sunday with lawmakers focused on national security issues, including the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul.

McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it was Johnson’s decision on when and how to put Ukraine aid to a vote, but it had to be done. “We don’t have time on our side here,” McCaul said. “We have to get this done.”

The House remains deeply divided over whether to provide further aid to Ukraine. No major aid package for Kiev has been passed since Republicans took control of the House in January 2023.

While some members of the House of Representatives strongly support the aid, predicting that it would pass with 70% support in the House if Johnson were to allow a vote, many of Trump’s allies in the House of Representatives oppose aid to Ukraine and give preferring to spend on domestic issues.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened to oust Johnson as speaker over issues including his support for Ukraine.

Representative Mike Turnerchairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expected the House to pass a broad relief bill this week.

“I think it will get overwhelming support for both the Ukraine, Israel and the Asia packages, not just because of what happened when Iran escalated the conflict in the Middle East, but because these are allies who have our support need and deserve,” Turner said.

Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles this weekend in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, raising the threat of open war between the two Middle Eastern foes that the United States could draw into.

The White House and top Democrats and Republicans in the Senate called on Johnson to pass a bipartisan $95 billion package that would provide $14.1 billion in aid to Israel and $60 billion to Ukraine .

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“They need to bring it up as soon as possible,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told NBC’s Meet the Press program.

Johnson has refused to take up the Senate bill. Instead, he has tried to craft his own legislation, structuring aid to Ukraine as a loan on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“He and I are 100% in agreement on these bigger issues,” Johnson said of Trump after meeting with the former president Friday in Florida.

(Reporting by David Morgan, additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)

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