White House Lashes Out At House GOP For Stalling Aid

The White House is not happy with Republicans in the House and their leader, Speaker Mike Johnson, and Biden administration officials are starting to vent their frustrations.

The frustration comes from the fact that the House hasn’t yet brought to the floor a bill that passed through the Senate last week that would’ve provided additional aid to Taiwan, Israel and Ukraine. The latter of which is of particular concern for the White House, as Russia has made some major advancements in recent weeks.

In a statement released earlier this week, Ben LaBolt, the communications director of the White House, said:

“Speaker Johnson and House Republicans must act. … Time is of the essence.”

The statement, which was released on Tuesday, continued:

“House Republicans are on Day 5 of an early, undeserved vacation while their inaction does escalating damage to our national security. Russia just saw its most significant gains in Ukraine in nearly a year because Ukraine is running low on supplies and Congress has failed to pass critically needed support.

“We must stop Putin from continuing to murder innocent women and children while threatening our own national security.”

The bill the Senate passed totaled $95 billion in foreign aid. But, Republican leaders in the House dashed all hopes that it could actually pass through Congress and make its way to President Joe Biden’s desk. This is despite the fact that the bill enjoyed large bipartisan support in the upper chamber.

Instead of passing this bill, though, Johnson said that the House would “continue to work on its own will” regarding foreign aid. His main criticism of the Senate bill is the fact that it doesn’t include any measures that address border security in the U.S.

Two major developments have happened in recent days that have ramped up the pressure on House Republicans to get something done on foreign aid.

Opposition leader Alexey Navalny died while being held in a Russian prison, while Russian forces recaptured the key city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine.

On Monday, Biden said he’d be “happy to meet” directly with Johnson about foreign aid “if he has anything to say.” The president also said Republicans in the House are “making a big mistake” by not moving forward with more foreign aid.

He told reporters:

“The way they’re walking away from the threat of Russia, the way they’re walking away from NATO, the way they’re walking away from meeting our obligations, it’s just shocking. I’ve been here a while. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Johnson has been steadfast in his insistence that American border security needs to be addressed before any foreign aid packages are passed. He said last week at a news conference that the House “will not be jammed” into passing any additional foreign aid package that “does nothing to secure our own border.”

A bipartisan group of senators had initially introduced a border security bill that would’ve addressed both domestic and foreign security, but that bill was blocked by Republicans in the Senate before it even got to the House.