House GOP natsec chairs back Johnson's supplemental spending proposal

By Tony Bertuca / April 16, 2024 at 4:45 PM

The Republican chairmen of key congressional defense and national security committees released a joint statement today supporting Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) $95 billion supplemental spending proposal, which would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“There is nothing our adversaries would love more than if Congress were to fail to pass critical national security aid. Speaker Johnson has produced a plan that will boost U.S. national security interests in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH).

“We don’t have time to spare when it comes to our national security,” they said. “We need to pass this aid package this week.”

The support for Johnson comes as some GOP hardliners, like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), have called for his ouster.

Johnson’s plan would reportedly stick closely to amounts authorized by a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate two months ago, though the House would pass individual measures for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and maybe include other priorities that could be passed by the Senate as a single bill.

But House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) said during a hearing today that Johnson’s proposal for multiple bills amounts to a “twisted process” that could take as long as two months to pass the Senate.

“That is basically boiling Ukraine to death slowly,” he said. “We need to get that support to Ukraine now.”

Smith said the House should pass the Senate’s version of the bill this week so weapons could begin flowing to Ukraine immediately.

“Passing a bill that is dramatically different than the Senate bill does not get something done this week,” he said.