Senators urge Speaker Johnson not to make promises to anti-Ukrainian radicals ahead of new aid package

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Wisconsin, USA, on May 8
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Wisconsin, USA, on May 8

Senate Republicans expect U.S. President Joe Biden to request a new aid package for Ukraine by the end of the year and are urging Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson not to make any promises to block it, The Hill reported on May 8.

Senate Republicans are concerned that Johnson could make promises to Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene so that she would end her efforts in trying to have him removed as House Speaker.

Taylor Greene's anti-Ukrainian stance is well known.

The Senate expects the Biden administration to return to Congress with a new request for military aid to Ukraine after the November election — likely in late November or December.

The new President will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2025.

Taylor Greene asked Johnson on Monday to commit to no longer supporting any aid to Ukraine.

Republican senators, in turn, want Johnson to retain the flexibility to push the possible bill through the House.

Republican senators see no reason for Johnson to rule out the possibility of another aid package, which could "encourage" Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, The Hill wrote.

“I just think at this point, you can’t tie his hands. He’s the Speaker of the House,” Senate Republican Whip John Thune told reporters on May 7.

“Right now, he’s got a job to do. Who knows what in the future may or may not be needed or necessary?”

“I wouldn’t make any commitments about what he’s going to move on the floor or not move on the floor in response to demands she’s making.”

Thune is running to be the next Senate GOP leader and could be tasked with pushing another emergency defense spending package in the next Congress.

Sen. John Cornyn, vying with Thune for the position of Senate GOP leader, agreed that Johnson should not make significant concessions to Taylor Greene on funding for Ukraine.

Read also: Ukraine needs a long-term, stand-alone US military aid bill — opinion

“I don't think Speaker Johnson needs to make any commitments to Marjorie Taylor Greene," he said.

"I think she's marginalizing herself and becoming a nonissue."

Sen. Roger Wicker, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned that it would be a "serious mistake" for Johnson to promise Taylor Greene not to bring up a possible new request for military aid to Ukraine to the House floor.

Wicker suggested the administration would "possibly" ask for more military aid before the end of the year.

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