With a stop-gap federal government funding bill in place, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson has his work cut out for him as two wars currently dependent on U.S. military aid rage abroad.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Congress arrived at an agreement on Wednesday to fund the government. Government funding will be provided for military construction, the Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy departments until January 19, while the rest of the government will be funded until February 2.
Johnson (R-LA) must now deal with upset within the House over continued unconditional funding of Ukraine and Israel’s ongoing military operations. Some lawmakers have been expressing increased concern over the amount of taxpayer spending on Ukraine’s war with Russia, especially considering the current unlawful migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Meanwhile, the new speaker and pro-Israel lawmakers have also been looking to step up the spending of taxpayer money on military aid to Israel following the outbreak of war between the country and the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The respective supporters of the two war efforts hope to get even more aid approved before the end of the year.
“My best guess is Israel is passed as stand-alone, and Ukraine [is] done in tandem with progress on [the] border,” said one Republican lawmaker whose name was not published by NBC News. “On the positive side, I believe the speaker wants results on Israel, Ukraine, and border.”
Others appear less confident in any clear outcome. Multiple lawmakers have expressed their desire to condition additional war funding on cuts to the IRS and additional taxpayer spending on border security. Others still want to see more aid given to Palestinians in Gaza as Israel continues its campaign to rout out Hamas terrorists from the territory.
“We don’t know how it’s going to happen,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), according to The Hill. “We’ve got to get back and do a lot of work.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, offered his own prediction.
“I think we’re going to have a Ukraine-border bill. And then the Senate, after Thanksgiving, will probably pass their Ukraine-Israel-border-Taiwan bill. And that will come over to us, and the Speaker’s going to have to make a decision,” McCaul opined, per The Hill.
“I think all the threats are tied together, but I understand the Speaker’s got to manage our conference, and a lot of people don’t want it all tied together,” McCaul added, referencing some lawmakers’ opposition to more Ukraine funding.