04/23/2024

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared that he’s committed to opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the remainder of his term, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has pitched a novel approach to continue funding the war effort — but Republican holdouts in both chambers may still derail the efforts of leadership to secure a new aid package.

“We’re funding what appears to be yet another forever war that will bankrupt future generations — all while disregarding our own security as our southern border remains open,” Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., told Fox News Digital. “It’s absurd that overnighting more tax dollars to Ukraine is even a consideration. It should be totally off the table and replaced with a push for peace talks.”

Johnson revealed his intent to take action on Ukraine aid soon after lawmakers return to Washington next week during an appearance on Fox News Channel on Sunday night. It’s been a hot-button issue for conservatives, but he suggested a plan that diverges significantly from the Senate-passed $95 billion package with aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

One potential piece of the House’s forthcoming effort to provide resources to Ukraine is the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act. This measure would have the U.S. liquidate seized Russian assets and re-purpose those funds as more assistance for Ukraine.

According to Johnson, this option is one of several possible alternatives that “we should do that make more sense and I think we’ll have consensus around.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., praised the plan on Monday night, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he is “Encouraged to hear that Speaker Johnson will take up Ukraine aid when Congress reconvenes next week.”

“This proposal or something similar, when combined with border security, would be a winning package for all concerned,” he said of the potential components of a package spearheaded by Johnson, which could also include aid in the form of a loan to the country, as well as taking steps to decrease reliance on foreign sources for energy.

It’s unclear if Johnson’s plan for Ukraine would be attached to U.S. border security measures. Fox News Digital reached out to the speaker’s office for clarification.

Congressional Republicans killed a $118 billion package with aid for Ukraine, Taiwan, Israel and the U.S. border earlier this year, arguing it did not go far enough to tackle the ongoing border crisis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and President Biden have been pressuring Johnson to take up the slimmer $95 billion package without border measures.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a staunch supporter of assistance to Ukraine, did not provide comment regarding the various potential routes being eyed by House Republicans. A spokesperson reiterated that McConnell’s primary focus is getting aid to Ukraine in the quickest fashion possible.