Khanna says he’d consider saving Speaker Johnson if House votes for Ukraine aid, Baltimore bridge repair

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.) on Sunday suggested he would consider voting to rescue Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to oust him if the House can secure funding for Ukraine and repairs for the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

When asked by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream if he would join other Democrats to save Johnson, Khanna said, “I would consider it under two conditions. One, we get the aid into Ukraine, so we stand up to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

“And two, let’s get the $600 million to rebuild the bridge in Baltimore,” he continued. “I read somewhere it’s going to take three years, four years … China would do it in three months. Let’s get the steel, let’s get the permitting, let’s get the funding.”

Johnson has vowed to take up aid for Ukraine when Congress returns to Washington in mid-April after the holiday recess.

Some Democrats floated Ukraine aid as a condition for saving Johnson earlier this month, while some lawmakers last week suggested attaching funding for the bridge to a foreign aid package in the wake of the collapse.

A cargo ship named Dali was heading for Sri Lanka overnight last Tuesday when it collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the bridge to crumble into the Patapsco River. Officials said the 984-foot Singapore-flagged ship lost power when attempting to leave the Baltimore Harbor.

Removal of parts of the bridge began over the weekend, which will eventually help open a temporary restricted channel to get more vessels into the water around the collapse site, Maryland officials announced Saturday.

A timeline for the completion of the bridge’s removal and rebuild has yet to be determined or released by officials.

The Department of Transportation dished out $60 million in emergency funding last week for the bridge, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday confirmed that “more” funding is expected to come. He noted that bipartisan support among Congress would be needed should the government turn to them.

The fight over Congress’s role in future bridge funding ramped up last week in the lower chamber after President Biden vowed to use federal funding to rebuild the bridge. His pledge drew praise from many Democrats, while conservative spending hawks argued Washington cannot afford to increase the national debt.

Khanna on Sunday argued securing funds for the bridge offers an opportunity for America to show how it responds in times of crisis.

“Let’s show that America can still do things, big things, when there’s a crisis,” he said. “And let’s have a timeline of six months to do it. So, let’s figure Johnson does Ukraine funding and the bridge, then I’m open to it.”

Earlier this month, Greene filed a motion to vacate the chair, a procedural move that could lead to a vote to remove Johnson. He’s been Speaker since October, when he replaced the ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Greene’s motion to vacate came after Johnson helped pass a sprawling spending package to stave off a partial government shutdown to the ire of conservative lawmakers. She said she would not immediately trigger a vote on ousting Johnson and called the motion “basically a warning.”

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