House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said on Nov. 27 that U.S. funding for Israel and Ukraine is a “priority.”

The United States needs to support Israel after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, and Ukraine, which has been fighting an invasion by Russia since February 2022, Mr. Johnson told reporters at an event in Florida.

“Listen, Israel is a top priority for the United States, and supporting our ally there is critical. It’s one of the first things we did … It’s been sitting in the Senate and on [Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer’s [D-N.Y.] desk. And so we are encouraging him to get that done,” said the speaker. He cited the passage of the $14.3 billion Israel aid package, offset by cuts to the IRS—a nonstarter for Democrats.

Mr. Schumer has said the House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.

“Speaker Johnson and House Republicans released a totally unserious and woefully inadequate package that omitted aid to Ukraine, omitted humanitarian assistance to Gaza, no funding for the Indo-Pacific, and made funding for Israel conditional on hard-right, never-going-to-pass proposals,” the New York Democrat said on Nov. 1. “What a joke.”

Mr. Johnson reiterated his support for assistance to Ukraine.

“Ukraine is another priority. Of course, we can’t allow Vladimir Putin to march through Europe,” he said.

“We understand the necessity of assisting there. What we’ve said is that if there is to be additional assistance to Ukraine—which most members of Congress believe is important—we have to also work on changing our own border policy.”

Mr. Schumer, in a Nov. 26 letter to colleagues, decried that the border contingency “jeopardize[s] the entire national security supplemental package.”

“There’s been a lot of thoughtful negotiation ongoing with that,” said Mr. Johnson.

“I think most of our Senate colleagues recognize that those two things need to move together because we owe that to the American people.”

Regarding the remainder of the Biden administration’s supplemental funding request—dealing with the processing of immigrants, humanitarian aid to Gaza, and support for the Indo-Pacific, he said, “all of that will come together in the coming days.”

Mr. Johnson expressed that there is a sense of “urgency” to get the supplemental items passed.

In his letter to colleagues, Mr. Schumer stated he would bring forth a bill next week with what the Biden administration has requested in additional funding.

“The biggest holdup to the national security assistance package right now is the insistence by our Republican colleagues on partisan border policy as a condition for vital Ukraine aid,” said Mr. Schumer. “This has injected a decades-old, hyper-partisan issue into overwhelmingly bipartisan priorities.”

The House speaker and Senate majority leader both said negotiations between the GOP and Democrats regarding the supplemental package are ongoing.

“We have some negotiations that are going on in earnest,” said Mr. Johnson “In fact, I was on the flight before we landed, texting back and forth with Senate colleagues and others who are working on the negotiation.”

In addition to the supplemental package, Congress will need to pass a spending bill as some government funding expires Jan. 19 and the rest on Feb. 2.

Finally, in his comments to reporters, Mr. Johnson said he had spoken with Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) ahead of an expected vote this week to expel the freshman congressman following a House Ethics Committee report finding “substantial evidence” that Mr. Santos had violated federal law.

“I’ve spoken to Congressman Santos at some length over the holiday and talked with him about his options,” said Mr. Johnson. “But we’ll have to see. It’s not yet determined, but we’ll be talking about that when we get back [to Congress] tomorrow.”

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