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US House Speaker angers Republicans over vote on Ukraine aid

US House Speaker angers Republicans over vote on Ukraine aid

US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to move forward this weekend with a $95 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and other allies, despite continued opposition from his Republican colleagues, leading to an impeachment effort.

The legislation is the latest in a series of bipartisan measures Johnson has helped push through Congress, including two massive spending bills and the controversial reauthorization of federal surveillance programs.

His performance six months after the Louisiana Republican won the House speakership has won him praise from fellow centrists who worry that party infighting could destroy America's standing on the world stage.

Johnson was elected speaker of the House after a small group of radical Republicans ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, which paralyzed the House for weeks.

“He showed tremendous courage,” Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick told Reuters. “He didn't let the noise get to him.”

The House is expected to vote Saturday on aid legislation that would provide $61 billion for the conflict in Ukraine, including $23 billion to replenish U.S. weapons, stocks and facilities; Including $26 billion for Israel, $9.1 billion for humanitarian needs, and $8.12 billion for the Indo-Pacific.

Republicans hold a narrow 218-213 majority in the House, and Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher has postponed his retirement, originally scheduled for Friday, so he can attend and vote in favor of the bill.

Johnson has routinely relied on Democratic votes to pass bills since becoming Speaker of the House, and he is expected to do so again Saturday.

Last week, the House speaker received key support from Republican presidential nominee former President Donald Trump, who said members called Johnson's impeachment “regrettable” because “we have much bigger problems right now.”

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But despite Trump's support, Johnson faces impeachment threats from radical Republicans who oppose aid to Ukraine, favor border controls and deep spending cuts, and want to limit the federal government's surveillance powers to protect American citizens.

In turn, some Democrats have indicated that they might consider voting to preserve Johnson's leadership if he succeeds in reversing aid to Ukraine.

Johnson himself has dismissed threats of impeachment, saying he could never do his job if he acted out of fear for his own political future.

“History judges us by what we do,” Johnson told reporters this week. “I'm here doing what I believe is the right thing. I think it's very important to provide critical aid to Ukraine at this time. I really do.”

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