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Ukraine aid vote in US Congress may be delayed by several weeks, Bloomberg

Ukraine aid vote in US Congress may be delayed by several weeks, Bloomberg Speaker Mike Johnson (Getty Images)

The vote in the US House of Representatives on aid to Ukraine is unlikely until at least mid-April. The delay could be even longer as Speaker Mike Johnson is still seeking ways to soften resistance from Republican supporters of a hardline stance, according to Bloomberg.

Johnson's team has not shared any detailed plan of the aid package with Republican lawmakers and it seems they have not yet decided on on what concessions he would insist on from the President Joe Biden administration. So, it's difficult for him to secure support for a vote next week, party officials said.

In an interview with Fox News, the Speaker stated that he would propose new conditions for the aid. These conditions may include converting the aid into a loan that Ukraine will eventually be obligated to repay, confiscating Russian assets as compensation, and lifting the Biden administration's moratorium on new licenses for liquefied natural gas exports, Johnson said.

The Biden administration rejected a deal to provide aid to Ukraine contingent on lifting the LNG export moratorium.

Johnson's representative spokesman Taylor Haulsee stated that the Speaker's promise of swift action was not meant to set a specific deadline and that Johnson is “sounding out members” of the entire party on the plan.

Two Republican leadership representatives said that technically, Johnson could still make a decision on the aid plan over the weekend and expedite the passage of the bill next week. However, this accelerated schedule could jeopardize the bill's passage and further fuel dissatisfaction among supporters of the Republican Party's hardline.

Hardline Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia took the first procedural step last month by initiating a vote to remove Johnson from the Speaker position. The reaction from hardline party supporters on aid to Ukraine could create momentum for resignation.

In February, the Senate passed an aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan totaling $95 billion, but Johnson refused to hold a vote on it.