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Mike Johnson says 'important innovations' to be included in Ukraine aid bill

Mike Johnson says 'important innovations' to be included in Ukraine aid bill Photo: Mike Johnson, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The bill, which includes aid to Ukraine, will begin moving forward after the US House of Representatives returns from recess. Among other things, it may include "some important innovations," according to Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson.

According to Johnson, he has been working during the current working period to develop a package that he plans to put to a vote after the House of Representatives recess.

"Look, what we have to do in an era of divided government – historically, as we are – you got to build consensus. If we want to move a partisan measure, I got to have every single member, literally. And some things need to be bipartisan," Johnson says.

The Speaker of the House adds that when it comes to amendments, it is necessary to work on reaching a consensus. Among the "important innovations," Johnson cites as an example the possibility of granting a loan to Ukraine. According to him, this idea has gained popularity and will help calm conservatives.

Frozen Russian assets

Among other things, the Speaker of the House mentioned the REPO for Ukrainians Act, which authorizes the President of the White House to seize Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression.

"The REPO Act, you know, if we can use the seized assets of Russian oligarchs to allow the Ukrainians to fight them, that’s just pure poetry. Even President Trump (Donald Trump, former US President - ed.) has talked about the loan concept, where … we’re not just giving foreign aid. We’re setting it up in a relationship where they can provide it back to us when the time is right," the Speaker adds.

US assistance to Ukraine

Since last fall, the US Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on President Joe Biden's request to allocate new funds to finance assistance to Ukraine.

This year, the US Senate approved a bill that would allocate about $60 billion to finance aid to Ukraine. The document was passed to the House of Representatives, but it has not yet been submitted for consideration there. The bill was opposed by House Speaker Johnson. He stated that he wanted the document to also include tough measures to protect American borders from migrants.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Zelenskyy recently said that without American help, Ukraine would have to retreat on the frontline. Before that, the Ukrainian President had a phone conversation with a Speaker for the House of Representatives.