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Johnson plans separate House votes on Ukraine and Israel this week

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Speaker Mike Johnson told GOP lawmakers that he’ll try to pass four measures this week to send aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan — each in separate bills, according to two Republicans in the private Monday meeting.

A fourth proposed bill would include a package of related measures, including a lend-lease deal for military aid, a ban on TikTok in the U.S. and provisions to sell off assets seized from Russian oligarchs.

It’s far from certain that Johnson would have the votes to bring the bills to the floor, given the procedural hurdles of Republicans’ narrow majority that have vexed the speaker for months. Johnson would need near-unanimous support from his own conference to bring the whole package of bills up for passage, a procedure known as a rules vote, plus prior approval from a Rules Committee stacked with conservatives who may resist based on Ukraine aid.

Earlier Monday, hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus released a statement saying they opposed using necessary cash for Israel to “ram through Ukraine aid.” Johnson’s proposal still had some early, tepid support from that group.

“I like that’s it’s separate bills,” said Freedom Caucus member Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). But asked if he would approve the so-called rule, which would allow all four bills to come up for a vote, he demurred: “We haven’t even seen the bills, I mean good grief.”

If even a handful of conservatives oppose the rule vote, then Johnson would need Democratic support to move forward — and it’s incredibly rare for the minority party to assist on those rules votes. House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries declined to comment Monday on whether he expected his caucus would support the package: “We’re not going to come to any conclusion about process until we understand the substance.”

Plus, Johnson has a looming threat to his speakership to consider, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) vowing to force a vote to oust him. She said Monday that she hadn’t made a decision on triggering that process, but that she’s “firmly against the plan as it stands right now.” She called it “another wrong direction for Speaker Johnson.”

“He’s definitely not going to be speaker next Congress,” Greene said, adding it was “to be determined” if he would even finish out this term. No GOP lawmakers have explicitly said they would join Greene in voting to boot Johnson.

The speaker also told members that there would be amendment votes included in the package, though it’s unclear what those would be. Notably absent from his proposal: any measures to address border security, which Republicans have demanded for months.

“There’ll be a possibility for amendments. But the question is how many — they’ll have to be germane,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.). “But let’s face it, he had to make the play call. And I think he’s made a very good play call, given the totality of the circumstances where the world is right now.”

If the House passed all four bills, they would not be packaged together before heading to the Senate, according to GOP lawmakers, meaning the upper chamber would have to take separate votes on each piece of legislation. It’s unclear if Johnson has Senate support for his proposal, given the upper chamber’s leaders are continuing to insist on their own bipartisan version of foreign aid legislation that combines cash for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Nicholas Wu and Jennifer Scholtes contributed to this report.