In the United States, the House of Representatives will vote this week on separate aid plans for Ukraine, Israel, as well as Taiwan and other allies, after months of political disputes between the administration of Joe Biden and his Republican opponents, announced Monday, April 15, the Republican leader (speaker) of the lower house of Congress, Mike Johnson.

An envelope of 60 billion dollars (56 million euros) for kyiv, requested by the Democratic president, has been blocked in Congress for months, just like another, of 14 billion dollars, this time for Israel. “This week we will consider separate bills” including those to “fund our Israeli ally” and “support Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression,” Mike Johnson said on the social network X.

The other bills are intended to “strengthen our allies in the Indo-Pacific region” – including Taiwan – and “adopt additional measures to counter our adversaries and strengthen our national security,” he added.

The passage of these bills is, however, far from guaranteed, with the speaker having only a tenuous hold on his troops, a substantial part of whom are opposed to any aid to Ukraine. And while some Democrats refuse to send weapons to Israel, complex bipartisan coalitions will have to be developed. In order to appease his most radical wing, Mr. Johnson is also considering including in the legislative package a provision for part of the aid to be in the form of repayable loans, and for another part to be financed by the sale of frozen Russian sovereign assets.

Deep bitterness in kyiv

Published following a meeting of Republican elected officials at the Capitol, this announcement comes two days after an unprecedented attack by Iran on Israel. The Islamic Republic fired hundreds of missiles and drones overnight from Saturday to Sunday at the Jewish state, in retaliation for a deadly attack on April 1 against its consulate in Damascus and attributed to Israel.

In this context, Western military support that helped Israel intercept almost all of Iran’s explosive missiles and drones has aroused deep bitterness in kyiv. “By defending Israel, the free world has demonstrated that such unity is not only possible, but also 100% effective,” noted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday evening. “The same thing is possible to protect Ukraine,” he said.

The day before, he had urged kyiv’s supporters not to “turn a blind eye to Russian missiles and drones” targeting Ukraine. By far the primary military supporter of Israel and Ukraine, the United States has not sent significant aid to kyiv since December 2023, due to the blockage of the issue by Republicans in Congress.

A package of $60 billion in military and economic assistance for Ukraine was certainly adopted in the Senate, with a Democratic majority, in February. But the Republicans in the House of Representatives refuse to examine the text, due, among other things, to another dispute, on the question of immigration.

Mike Johnson under threat of eviction

A few months before the presidential election – it will be held on November 5 – the issue has turned into a standoff between Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump. Recently, Mike Johnson refused to comment on the future of aid to Ukraine, ensuring that negotiations were still ongoing.

In the process, Donald Trump reiterated his support for the speaker, who is under threat of censorship proceedings coming from the most extreme fringe of the “Grand Old Party” (GOP). During a meeting in Miami, the two men discussed Ukraine in particular, with the former president however saying he was in favor of loans rather than direct aid.

Reacting to Mike Johnson’s announcement, one of Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, immediately said she was “firmly against the plan as it currently stands.” “This is another bad direction from the speaker,” castigated the elected official – at the origin of the censorship procedure – after the meeting at the Capitol. This representative of the most extreme fringe of the GOP accuses Mr. Johnson of not sufficiently defending the interests of conservatives and for this reason wants to oust him from his seat.