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Johnson Calls Funding Ukraine Aid with Seized Russian Assets ‘Pure Poetry’

House Speaker Mike Johnson has suggested utilizing billions in seized Russian assets to cover President Biden’s request for aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Johnson’s proposal comes after the top House Republican diverted from the $106 billion request by separating aid for Israel and other countries from the package that included aid for Ukraine. House Republicans have taken a firmer stance on providing more aid to Ukraine, demanding clear-cut objectives for the conflict from the Biden administration.

The Louisiana congressman expressed interest in using the more than $300 billion in Russian assets seized after the conflict began to finance future aid to Ukraine, calling it “pure poetry” and stating that the idea has been met with enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle.

President Biden’s emergency supplemental request for over $61 billion in aid to Ukraine has faced opposition, with House Republicans challenging the pairing of Ukraine aid with aid to Israel, resulting in funds being redirected from the larger package. The bipartisan approval of $14.3 billion in aid to Israel in the lower chamber was met with a promised veto from the White House due to concerns about how it is funded.

The proposal to repurpose money intended for the IRS from the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act to fund the aid has been met with criticism from the Congressional Budget Office, which predicts an increase in the deficit over the next decade as a result. In the Democrat-led Senate, there is a demand for aid to Israel to be combined with Ukraine spending, leading the aid bill to hit a stalemate.

Despite the impasse, House Republicans are unwilling to allocate additional aid to Ukraine without receiving satisfactory answers. Mr. Johnson has submitted a list of questions to the Biden administration regarding the goals and objectives for the Ukraine conflict, expressing dissatisfaction with the responses received thus far.

The lack of clear, detailed information from the White House has prompted further inquiries from Mr. Johnson, as there is confusion over the duration and objectives of the conflict.

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