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Speaker Johnson anticipates ‘some innovations’ in Ukraine aid bill

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson

The upcoming bill on aid to Ukraine, set for a post-Easter recess vote, will incorporate “some important innovations,” Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson said, The Hill reported on March 31.

Read also: US announces first Ukraine military aid package since late 2023

"We are working to reach a consensus," Johnson said.

"We have talked to all members, especially now, while working in the district. When we come back from this period of work, we will be pushing the product (the Ukraine aid bill), but I think it will have some important innovations."

Read also: Top House Republicans consider separate Ukraine aid bill

As an example he cited the possibility of providing Ukraine with a loan. It is noted that this idea gained popularity in early March.

Read also: US should provide aid to Ukraine via interest-free loan — Senator Graham

The speaker noted that this could be a way to reassure conservatives who believe that the United States is doing too much for Ukraine.

Johnson also mentioned the REPO law, which allows seizure of Russian assets frozen in the United States and their transfer to Ukraine.

"If we can use the seized assets of Russian oligarchs to allow Ukrainians to fight them, it's just pure poetry," he added.

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The speaker made it clear that he intends to push through legislation that will provide funding for Ukraine, but he has not yet decided what exactly this will look like.

Blocking the bill on funding Ukraine in the United States - what is known

The U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, with $60 billion allocated for Kyiv on Feb. 13. House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized the Senate proposal the same day, saying that he would not bring the Senate-supported bill to the floor for consideration.

Read also: U.S. Congress to finally get around to passing Ukraine aid bill – US intelligence committee chair

Johnson promised a “timely” vote on extending aid to Ukraine following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on Feb. 27.

During the meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, Biden emphasized the “urgent need” to allocate the aid for Ukraine.

Speakers of 23 parliaments and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola appealed to Johnson on Feb. 28 to consider the bill. The next day, he announced that the House of Representatives would not take up the issue of providing aid to Ukraine until the U.S. government receives funding.

Biden signed on March 23 a package of bills funding government agencies totaling $1.2 trillion, which had been supported by the House of Representatives and the Senate shortly before. He called on the House to pass the bill providing aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine