Mike Johnson is Speaker of the House of Representatives, what does this mean for Ukraine?
Financial and military support for Ukraine has been called into question by the appointment of a new Speaker of the House of Representatives. Find out why Mike Johnson is called a Trumpist and how his position on Ukraine could affect US aid
After three weeks of uncertainty and legislative collapse, on October 25, the House of Representatives elected a new speaker, Republican and former President Donald Trump supporter Mike Johnson. He received 220 votes out of 429 congressmen present. Democrat Hakeem Jeffries received 209 votes.
It is worth noting that Mike Johnson's candidacy was nominated almost immediately after Tom Emmer, the head of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, dropped out because he could not get enough votes.
Who is Mike Johnson, what is his position on Ukraine, and how can this affect further support from the United States - we will analyze further in the article.
Why is Mike Johnson called a Trumpist?
In 2020, Mike Johnson actively supported Trump and was a key person who tried to deny President Joe Biden's election victory. In addition, Mike Johnson is a close associate of Jim Jordan, who in turn is Trump's most ardent supporter. He was so devoted to him that he was ready to save him during the cases of attempted election fraud and the attack on the Capitol. And Johnson himself, like Jordan, supported the overturning of election results in four US states, and according to some reports, was the "architect" of this project.
It is also important that Johnson is a "convenient" candidate for both Republicans and Trumpists, which means that both will actively promote the necessary narratives through the speaker, including those against Ukraine.
Mike Johnson on Ukraine: what is known?
At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Johnson actively supported Ukraine and called for tougher sanctions against russia, including the exclusion of russia from international organizations and global trade. In April 2022, he supported the Ukraine lend-lease and emphasized that "America is praying for the Ukrainian people."
However, Johnson later changed his mind and began to oppose support for Ukraine. The main narratives he promoted were based on "the need for a more open and transparent system that would hold Ukraine accountable for the use of American funds." And while the US is generally quite concerned about the problem of corruption in Ukraine, Johnson's calls tended to be more radical, and his votes fell into the coffers of those who voted against supporting Ukraine.
According to the Republicans for Ukraine initiative, Mike Johnson received the lowest grade of F because after supporting the lend-lease, he only consistently advocated for a reduction in financial and military support for Kyiv.
Will the U.S. support Ukraine with Johnson at the helm of the House of Representatives?
As long as the House of Representatives was headed by an interim speaker after McCarthy's dismissal, Congress could not consider and, accordingly, pass any amendments or bills. Therefore, after Johnson's appointment, one of the first questions he received was about support for Ukraine, as a joint $100 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan is currently being considered.
According to NBC News, Mike Johnson said he would approve the aid, but under certain conditions.
"We will have conditions on it, so we are working on it. We want accountability and we want the White House to have clear goals. And we are going to have these discussions. It will be very productive," he said.
At the same time, members of the U.S. Congress assured the Ukrainian authorities during their meetings in Washington that a comprehensive package that provides large-scale assistance to Ukraine will be adopted in the coming weeks. Therefore, there is still hope that Ukraine will be able to prove to the West that their aid is being used in the right way and that the money is not being stolen, and that the US will continue to support Ukraine.
We remind you! On October 17, the Ukrainian parliament voted in favor of the last amendment to the law that separated Ukraine from the start of the EU accession negotiations. Read more about when the EU will evaluate Ukraine's membership application and whether Ukraine will be able to join the EU in the near future in our previous article.
Photo: EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO
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