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Johnson expects a stand-alone foreign aid bill that would need Democratic votes

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia — Speaker Mike Johnson told POLITICO that he expects to pass a future Ukraine assistance bill with Democratic votes, an acknowledgment of the persistent resistance to any new aid within the GOP.

Johnson said in a Thursday interview at the House Republican retreat that aid to both Ukraine and Israel could come up as one or even two separate bills. He said he anticipates it would happen using the House’s suspension calendar, which he’s used often in recent days to overcome pushback from his own party.

“I think it is a stand-alone, and I suspect it will need to be on suspension,” Johnson said of foreign assistance.

The Louisiana Republican added in clear terms that he sees no path to attaching the foreign aid to a larger spending bill to keep the government open.

The suspension calendar requires a two-thirds majority to approve legislation on the House floor — meaning Johnson would need a substantial number of Democratic votes. He has taken that approach with many contentious measures so far in his speakership.

He added in the interview that splitting Ukraine and Israel aid into two separate bills was “under consideration.”

The speaker’s remarks are the most definitive he has made so far on his plans for tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid that has languished in Congress for many weeks, even after the Senate cleared its own bipartisan package last month. They represent the clearest statement so far that Johnson plans to put Ukraine aid on the floor for a vote, despite significant disinterest in his own party in any new funding for Kyiv’s efforts against Russia.