Long-Awaited Aid for Ukraine and M. Johnson’s Insight

Why did M. Johnson push through a Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan aid bill?
Apparently, D. Trump asked him. And Mr. Trump was
apparently asked about that by his donors.

Image by Office of Rep. Mike Johnson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past few months, the Republicans have blocked military and humanitarian aid package for several countries, including Ukraine. They linked the passage of this law to the US immigration crisis and wanted concessions from Democrats. D. Trump has actively promoted that point of view.

However, the US Senate rather unexpectedly passed a bill about the aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan for $95 billion on February 13, 2024. Then voting of the bill moved to the House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has repeatedly refused to bring the issue to a vote and has discussed it with President Biden several times to no avail. The vital aid for Ukraine was suspended and this allowed the Russians to somewhat improve their position at the front, since Ukraine simply had a shortage of ammunition.

On April 20, the US House of Representatives after several months of discussions finally voted for a slightly amended bill that provided more than $60 billion of aid for Ukraine, about $26 billion for Israel + the Gaza Strip and $8 billion for Taiwan and other regional allies.
On April 24, the US Senate also promptly voted for the bill and it was immediately signed by President Biden. Now Ukrainians will receive the long-awaited weapons.

There was an emotional upsurge in Ukraine after the vote in the US and gratitude poured in to both main US parties and personally to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Johnson. Europeans expressed the satisfaction with the vote and hope that American aid will arrive not too late for Ukraine. A “concern” came from Russians because everything did not go according to their plan, but Mr. Putin «fully expected» such a turn of events. China once again demanded that the US stop selling arms to Taiwan and kept monitoring the actions of the collective West.

Why did Mr. Johnson change his mind so dramatically?

As a rank-and-file Republican, Mr. Johnson has mostly opposed the idea of funding Ukraine. And as the Speaker, he has repeatedly stated that he would not put the issue of aid to a vote in the House without Democratic concessions on immigration policy.
So why did Mr. Johnson change his mind so dramatically and really help pushing a difficult issue through the House of Representatives? And he even didn’t pay attention to the threats of his right-wing Republican colleagues (Rep. Greene, in particular) to oust him.

Mr. Johnson himself explains his metamorphosis by the fact that he «wants to be on the right side of history».
He said: «History judges us for what we do. This is a critical time right now. I could make a selfish decision and do something that’s different. But I’m doing here what I believe to be the right thing. I think providing lethal aid to Ukraine right now is critically important.»

The Washington Post found several reasons for the Speaker's sudden insight: «… high-level intelligence briefings as a House leader, his faith, the counsel of three committee chairs named Mike, and a realization that the GOP would never unite on Ukraine.»

In general, it turns out from the article that M. Johnson acted like a decent person, a good Christian and wise statesman.

In my opinion, everything was much simpler. Mr. Johnson was asked by Mr. Trump. And Mr. Trump was asked by his donors.

I don't share The Washington Post's romanticism.
Basically, I don’t really believe in the sudden enlightenment of politicians simply because few of them do anything for the sake of justice, goodness or just common sense. They can change their mind quickly to strengthen their image, earn some money or expand their power. Almost all the politicians in the world came to politics for money, connections/opportunities, prestige, benefits and impunity.

Most likely, Mr. Johnson received approval for his «insight» from the current informal leader of the Republican Party, Mr. Trump.
Back on February 11, 2024, Mr. Trump for some reason said at a rally in South Carolina about the aid bill:
«Give them the money, and if they can pay it back, they pay it back. If they can’t pay it back they don’t have to pay it back … but if they go to another nation, they drop us like a dog… If that happens to our country, then very simply we call [in] the loan and we say we want our money, because we give money and then they go to the other side

Mr. Trump also appears to be able to protect M. Johnson from attacks of right-wing Republicans, so Mr. Johnson apparently did not take much risk of losing his Speaker’s position.

As the consequence, the US Senate has passed the $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan by a 70-29 vote, including 22 Republican senators, on February 13. It turns out that Mr. Trump also sharply changed his attitude towards the aid bill. Why? Did he, too, have an insight and realize the fact that Ukraine would definitely lose the war without weapons?

I think that someone ordered him to do so (or just asked him well). It was someone which Mr. Trump takes very seriously and he takes very seriously the top of the Republicans, his Republican donors. I think that someone from a group of major figures in the US military–industrial complex convincingly asked Mr. Trump to stop blocking aid bill because of the falling revenues in the industry.
Because it turns out that most of the American military aid remains in the US.

Most of the American military aid remains in the US.

The fact is that the bigger part of money allocated for military etc. aid goes to the American arms industry as payments for production of weapons. The US Department of Defense states that the war in Ukraine «has mobilized the defense industrial base in ways that haven't been seen in decades.»

In October 2023, the Center for Strategic and International Studies has published the report: about $68 billion (60%) of $113 billion of the total aid (humanitarian, economic and security aid) promised to Ukraine is planned to be spent in the United States on the American army and industry.

In November 2023, the US Department of Defense released its report: about $27 billion (61% of the $44 billion of military aid to Ukraine) was distributed among major American suppliers and arms manufacturers in 37 of the 50 US states.

It is interesting what is going on in the states.
3 of 8 Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania voted against funding Ukraine despite the fact that their state has received $2.364 billion in spending and investments to build arms and ammunition.
In Texas, 18 of 25 Republican US representatives have voted against Ukrainian aid while the state received $1.45 billion to produce 155 millimeter shells and other weapons.
3 of 6 Republican representatives in Arizona voted against aid also while $2.196 billion came into the state.
The states don't need money? Can't they see the forest behind the trees?

Thanks to all involved.

Well, anyway Israel, Taiwan and especially Ukraine will soon receive long-awaited aid. Thanks for this must be said to unknown donors from the Republican Party, Mr. Donald Trump, Mr. Mike Johnson, the US Senate, Mr. Joe Biden and both major US parties for finding the strength to pass such an important law, albeit with a delay.
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