Biden Encourages Congress To Move On Long-Stalled National Security Measure

( – Tensions between Israel and Iran erupted in recent weeks after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched an attack on an Iranian consulate in Syria, killing several military officials. Iran responded with a missile and drone attack. President Joe Biden is now pushing Congress to pass an aid package but infighting in the House could get in the way again.

On April 14, Biden spoke to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to discuss the Iranian attack. During the phone call, the president told lawmakers they should pass the administration’s foreign aid package. The Senate has already passed the $95.3 billion bill, which would give money to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and other priorities. Johnson has refused to bring it to the floor for a vote.

In recent weeks, there were rumors that Johnson was softening on the idea after pressure from some Republicans. On April 15, the speaker unveiled his plan to separate the aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Instead of passing the package the Senate voted on, he will allow three separate bills to go to the floor for a vote.

Johnson reportedly reminded Republicans that the majority of the money in the Ukraine bill was to replenish America’s weapons stockpile. By separating the bills, however, he said each member could vote their conscience and bring amendments to the floor.

The speaker’s plan has angered some Republicans. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) asked Johnson to resign in a closed-door meeting with other party members. He threatened to support Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) motion to vacate the speaker if he moved forward with the foreign aid bills.

Johnson refused to resign and said it was ridiculous that he was being threatened for doing his job.

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