Questions Mount Over Whether Trump Could Foil Efforts in Senate To Pass Aid Effort for Ukraine

The bill is moving ahead despite opposition from conservative lawmakers, including Senator Vance, who is saying it’s an ‘impeachment time bomb for the next Trump presidency if he tries to stop funding the war in Ukraine.’

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Speaker Johnson leaves a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on February 6, 2024. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

As the Senate moves closer to passing a hotly contested $95.3 billion aid package for American allies, increasing questions are emerging about whether the measure will have support in the House, as some conservative lawmakers oppose additional Ukraine funding and say the bill is a plot against President Trump. 

The package includes $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, $14 billion to Israel, and funding for Free China. It is moving forward after advancing in the Senate on Sunday in a bipartisan 67-27 vote. It could be passed by the Senate as soon as Wednesday, after a months-long holdup as Republicans changed course last week and blocked a GOP-led effort to tie the aid to border security reforms, following opposition to the border deal from Mr. Trump.

Yet the aid faces an uphill battle and an uncertain future in the House, as many conservative lawmakers oppose it, and Speaker Johnson has not yet said whether he will hold a vote on it. 

The Sun reached out to Mr. Johnson’s office, which did not have further comment on the package but cited his statements in which he said he is waiting to see how things play out in the Senate.

“We’ll see what the Senate does. We’re allowing the process to play out and we’ll handle it as it is sent over. I’ve made very clear that you have to address these issues on their own merits, and Israel desperately needs the assistance,” Mr. Johnson said, adding that “we need” to support Israel. 

In an interview with Tucker Carlson last week, President Putin suggested it would be better for American lawmakers to negotiate with Russia, promising that “Russia will fight for its interests to the end,” as the Sun reported

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose office did not immediately respond to a request from the Sun for comment, has been one of the most vocal in opposition to the package, threatening to launch an effort to remove Mr. Johsnon from his position if he moves on the aid, and writing on X on Monday morning that the bill would be “DEAD ON ARRIVAL IN THE HOUSE!!!,” followed by a skull emoji. “Any Republican that votes for this career will be over,” she added. 

Ms. Greene’s statement was in response to a memo that Senator Vance sent to congressional Republicans, in which he says that “buried in the bill’s text is an impeachment time bomb for the next Trump presidency if he tries to stop funding the war in Ukraine.” 

Mr. Vance cites the impeachment of Mr. Trump in 2019, saying that “at the core of the impeachment was a pause on funds appropriated to Ukraine.” Mr. Trump has called for settling the war in Ukraine and promised to resolve it within 24 hours, Mr. Vance notes, adding if he were re-elected and decided to withdraw support for Ukraine, “partisan Democrats would seize on the opportunity to impeach him once again.”

Billions of dollars in Ukraine funding in the package “expire on September 30, 2025 — nearly a year into the possible second term of President Trump,” Mr. Vance says. “These are the exact same accounts President Trump was impeached for pausing in December 2019.” 

The bill is an attempt by the “foreign policy blob/deep state” to stop Mr. Trump from pursuing his own policies if elected, Mr. Vance concludes as he calls for all Republicans to oppose the package. 

There is support for the package among some Republicans, including from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Turner, who recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, where he met with President Zelensky to signal support against “Russian aggressors.” 

The Sun reached out to Mr. Turner’s office, which did not have additional comments beyond his previous statements, where he has urged Republicans, including Mr. Johnson, to move with urgency on the aid. 

The debates in Congress over the aid are “largely procedural and non-substantive,” Mr. Turner said, and “there’s overwhelming support in the House of Representatives and in the Senate for support for Ukraine.”

Mr. Turner praised the Ukrainian people for having resourcefulness, determination, and grit. 

“We all have access to the intelligence as to the risk that is faced not only to the United States, our allies, but the world as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he said. 

In the wake of anticipated conservative opposition to the package, some supporters of the aid have floated the idea of a discharge petition, a rare move that Democrats could use if they gathered 218 backers to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 

The House Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, said last week that Democrats would “use every available legislative tool to make sure we get comprehensive national security legislation over the finish line,” saying that time is up for “Extreme MAGA Republicans and the Pro-Putin Caucus.” 

It’s an idea that’s gaining some traction as frustration mounts that Republican lawmakers feel a need to run every move by Mr. Trump and as the outcome of an election Tuesday for New York’s Third District could bring the fate of the aid legislation down to a tight vote margin.


The New York Sun

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