All eyes on Johnson foreign aid decision amid Israel attack, Greene ouster threat

All eyes are on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) this week as he is expected to put foreign aid legislation on the floor — a move that is taking on increased importance after Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend, and one that still comes with a number of political pitfalls as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) threatens to force a vote on ousting the Speaker.

Johnson said Sunday that the House would “try again” on passing Israel aid this week after previous attempts failed in the lower chamber and floundered in the Senate. But he did not say how he plans to handle long-stalled aid for Ukraine, a looming question that has significant implications for the fate of foreign assistance in the House and Johnson’s tenure atop the GOP conference.

Lawmakers in both parties and chambers, meanwhile, have called on Johnson to put the Senate-passed supplemental on the floor in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israel, a prospect that the Speaker has declined at every juncture of the debate over foreign aid.

“The details of that package are being put together right now. We’re looking at the options on all these supplemental issues,” Johnson told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Also this week, the House is set to send the Senate the articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after Johnson delayed the process at the urging of Senate conservatives. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), however, is still expected to move quickly to dismiss the charges.

And in the House, lawmakers may cast one more vote pertaining to the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance authority after conservatives launched a last-minute procedural gambit in protest of the legislation.

Johnson eyes foreign aid

The House is poised to barrel into the debate over foreign aid this week as Johnson looks to put legislation on the floor to assist embattled U.S. allies — a highly anticipated move that has been months in the making.

But the parameters of that bill, or package of bills, remain unknown, leaving lawmakers waiting to see how the Speaker approaches the politically prickly topic — especially after Iran attacked Israel over the weekend, as lawmakers sound the alarm about Ukraine’s beleaguered forces, and amid a threat by Greene to bring a motion to vacate against Johnson.

The Speaker told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” over the weekend that the House would “try again” this week on sending aid to Israel. When asked specifically about assistance for Ukraine, Johnson again floated sending the money in the form of a loan and adding the REPO Act — which would use frozen seized Russian assets to help Kyiv.

“I think these are ideas that I think can get consensus,” Johnson said. “And that’s what we have been working through. We will send our package. We will put something together and send it to the Senate and get these obligations completed.”

The schedule released by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday says “Additional legislative items related to security supplemental appropriations are possible” without disclosing further details.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Johnson “sees that the path” is for foreign aid to hit the floor this week, and predicted that the provisions pertaining to Israel and Ukraine will garner widespread support.

“I think it will have overwhelming support, both the Ukraine, Israel, and Asia packages, not just because of what’s happened with Iran escalation the conflict in the Middle East, but because these are allies that need and deserve our support,” Turner said.

But as Johnson’s foreign aid plan remains a mystery, lawmakers of all stripes are urging the Speaker to put the $95 billion Senate-passed supplemental on the floor, underscoring the urgency of the moment.

“Congress must also do its part. The national security supplemental that has waited months for action will provide critical resources to Israel and our own military forces in the region,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote in a statement Saturday.

Greene, meanwhile, is maintaining her criticism as Johnson inches closer to putting Ukraine aid on the floor — even after former President Trump gave the Speaker a vote of confidence during a joint press conference Friday.

“How much money do the U.S. taxpayers have to pay now after this weekends Iranian activities? How much money will Zelenskyy get because obviously Ukraine first?” she wrote on the social platform X, later adding “Why do I feel like this week is going to be another week of America last?”

In another post responding to a reporter’s note about a schedule change this week, Greene took a shot at GOP leadership.

“We have had no GOP conference calls and have not been communicated with what any bills might be this upcoming week at all from Speaker Johnson. And I’ve asked other members, they said the same,” she wrote, followed by three cricket emojis then “from Speaker Johnson.”

The House added a handful of Israel- and Iran-related measures to the schedule Sunday night, including a bill that would require the Treasury Secretary to report on financial institutions’ involvement with Iranian government officials, and a resolution that labeled the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as antisemitic.

House to finally send Senate Mayorkas impeachment articles

The Senate will finally receive the Mayorkas impeachment articles this week after conservatives in the upper chamber successfully lobbied Johnson to delay the transfer of the charges.

The proceedings, however, are still poised to wrap up quickly. Schumer is expected to set up a vote on a motion to dismiss or table the charges, which both require a majority vote.

“We’re ready to go whenever they are. We are sticking with our plan. We’re going to move this as expeditiously as possible,” Schumer said last week while commenting on the revised timeline.

House impeachment managers were initially scheduled to deliver the impeachment articles to the Senate on Wednesday, April 10, but that timeline was pushed back at the request of conservatives in the upper chamber, who did not want to rush the vote on the charges before lawmakers were scheduled to leave town.

“We don’t want this to come over on the eve of the moment when members might be operating under the influence of jet-fume intoxication,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said last week, referring to senators hopping on planes to head home right after the vote.

Johnson agreed to the request — his spokesperson Taylor Haulsee said in a statement last week that the Speaker would delay the transmission of the articles “to ensure the Senate has adequate time to perform its constitutional duty.”

“There is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to hold an impeachment trial,” he added.

While Schumer is widely expected to quickly dispose of the articles, Senate Republicans are still pushing for a full-fledged impeachment trial. A group of 43 Republicans in the upper chamber signed a letter to Schumer last week demanding a trial on the articles.

House Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas in February, 214-213 — their second attempt after the first one failed. The articles accuse him of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”

House could hold one more procedural vote on FISA

The House this week may hold one more procedural vote on legislation to authorize and reform the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance powers, after conservatives launched a last-ditch effort Friday to stop the bill from moving to the Senate.

The chamber has to vote on a motion to table a motion to reconsider the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, which would extend Section 702 of the Foreign Information Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years.

The House passed the FISA bill in a bipartisan 273-147 vote Friday. The legislation, much to the chagrin of privacy hawks, did not include an amendment that would add a warrant requirement to Section 702 after the House voted down that provision in a 212-212 vote. In the House, a tie fails.

FISA’s Section 702 allows the government to spy on non-U.S. citizens abroad. But in that process, information on Americans communicating with those being spied on is swept up in the process.

Privacy hawks — particularly those on the House Judiciary Committee — wanted to add a warrant requirement to access that information, which the White House and lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee sharply opposed.

As the vote was closing, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) — a member of the Judiciary Committee — yelled out “I object” in the chamber. Seconds later, Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Fla.) — the sponsor of the legislation who also sits on the Judiciary panel — offered a motion to reconsider the FISA bill.

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, then offered a motion to table that motion to reconsider, a vote that was postponed to a later date. As the vote is pending, the FISA bill is unable to move to the Senate.

While this week’s procedural vote is unlikely to have any impact on the fate of the FISA bill, privacy hawk Republicans are hopeful that pressure exerted over the weekend could change the outcome.

“This is not off of the House floor, so everybody’s got to go home and answer their constituents over the next 72 hours about why they are siding with the intelligence agencies and the deep state and the swamp over the rights and the liberties of the American people,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told reporters after Friday’s vote.

The House this week is also slated to vote on a data privacy bill sponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), as part of a deal hard-line GOP privacy hawks struck with leadership to lift their blockade of the FISA bill. The legislation, titled the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act,” would require the government to get a warrant before purchasing information about U.S. citizens from data brokers.

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