Speaker Johnson Evokes Biblical Admonition On US Support For Israel

In a speech he gave on Monday night, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana said that the encouragement to aid and defend Israel was a “biblical admonition” from the United States.

Following Iran’s missile strike on America’s Middle Eastern partner over the weekend, Christians United For Israel called an emergency meeting, which he addressed. During his fifteen-minute speech, Johnson mostly attacked President Biden and other prominent Democrats for their criticism of Israel’s reaction to the October 7 assault by Hamas. He specifically called out New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) for calling for new elections in Israel.

Reports that the Biden administration granted a sanctions waiver last month to inject additional cash into Iran’s faltering economy prompted Johnson to attack the current administration’s foreign policy. His plan calls for individual votes on the House’s financial priorities before the weekend, likely on Friday.

After weeks of deliberation, Johnson finally announced the injection of vital funding to Ukraine despite strong Republican opposition. Calls for Congress to swiftly adopt the pending assistance package were heightened by Iran’s large-scale aerial strike on Israel, which occurred days earlier. Johnson has stated his intention to put together a legislative package in the style of the Senate’s three-part relief plan, enacted two months ago with a total of $95 billion. A measure distributing funds to Israel, another distributing funds to Ukraine, and a third distributing funds to Taiwan and other allies would each be put to separate votes by lawmakers. They would cast a fourth vote on an independent bill with additional Republican-favored ideas.

Since Johnson’s grip on his fractured conference and slim majority in the House is precarious, it is unclear if the intricate plan will be effective there. Since extreme right-wing Republicans are opposed to supporting Ukraine and extreme left-wing Democrats are opposed to unrestrained aid to Israel, the success of the aid package would depend on a complex mix of bipartisan alliances that back various parts.

Johnson and the number two Republican in the House, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, wanted to stress that much of the Ukraine funding will go into American munitions production and restocking of U.S. military supplies.