Speaker Mike Johnson (R) has passed one of the first major bills of his term. However, his bill that includes foreign aid for Israel is expected to be vetoed by President Joe Biden (D).
Rep. Johnson's $14.3 billion bill is set to send aid to Israel, as it defends itself from terrorist organization Hamas, but does not include aid to Ukraine, which is currently fighting a war against Russia. The Biden administration has called for a $106 billion package that would send funds to both Ukraine and Israel, as well as other programs.
The bill was largely backed by the GOP, with 12 Democrats voting in favor of the bill and two Republicans voting against it. Nevertheless, the foreign aid bill attracted a lot of criticism from many lawmakers for not meeting the desires of some in Congress. Many of those in Congress want to continue to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian attacks and believe it is important. Some conservative lawmakers, however, view the two issues as separate.
Rep. Johnson's questionable bill will likely fail before it reaches Pres. Biden's office. Furthermore, the bill's fate will show an early glimpse into the success of Johnson's tenure as speaker.
The newly elected speaker was elected on Oct. 25, 2023, after three weeks of turmoil in the House of Representatives. The election process was marked by infighting and included a bevy of candidates.
However, now it is Johnson's turn to run the House. Yet, his time as speaker could be filled with angst and low financial support for GOP members. Johnson will have to navigate the House while learning to gain bipartisan approval.
In what has been described as a honeymoon period, many current politicians have expressed their excitement and approval to work with Johnson. Moreover, after three weeks of indecision and inter and intraparty fighting, many in Congress are probably happy to at least have a speaker of the House. That said, Johnson will have to find a way to get sensible bills passed in the House.