As drama builds around Johnson, four bills highlight GOP debate

As drama builds around Johnson, four bills highlight GOP debate

As drama builds around Johnson, four bills highlight GOP debate

North Carolina Republican Greg Murphy believes the U.S. House will fund three separate foreign aid bills this week – one of them for Israel – but debate abounds.

With the GOP at war with itself on Capitol Hill, the congressman offers his prediction with an undercurrent of frustration.

The possible effort to remove Speaker Mike Johnson, a sub-plot to the funding drama, is “an absolute destruction to the Republican Party, and it’s from within,” Murphy, a surgeon by trade, said on Washington Watch Tuesday.

If House Republicans and their one-seat majority are to avoid a conjoined aid bill for Israel and Ukraine, they’ll have to play hardball. The White House has already said it won’t support a bill that funds Israel alone, even though America’s Middle East ally was just attacked by Iran with more than 300 armed drones and missiles.

In a split with the Senate version, Johnson announced his plan for aid bills for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan on Monday, along with a bill for national security. This allows some Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who earlier this month filed a motion to remove Johnson as Speaker, to support Israel aid without supporting more funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Expressing anger over billions going for foreign aid, some Republicans were already upset with Johnson’s support for the $1.2 trillion spending bill in March.

'It makes absolutely no sense'

On Tuesday, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) announced his intention to co-sponsor Greene’s motion to vacate.

It’s unclear when a vote might occur.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” Murphy told show host Tony Perkins. “As a surgeon four and five steps ahead, because if you don't, then bad things happen in surgery. What's the four and five steps ahead when Matt Gatez did this before McCarthy, which was absolute, absolutely ridiculous. When we asked who's next, well, he just throws up his hands very coyly and says ‘I don't know.’ Well, what do you do? ‘I don't know.’ What is this saying to the world?”

Johnson finally emerged as Speaker after several failed attempts by other candidates when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was abruptly booted last fall.

“If you pull so hard to the far right, guess where you end up? You end up in the furthest Left there is,” Murphy warned. 

Foreign aid bills top $100 billion

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Biden administration has spent $75 billion in Ukraine assistance since that country’s war with Russia began in 2022.

By comparison, the 2024 fiscal year budget for the U.S. Marine Corps is $53 billion. 

It is unclear how much the four bills being debated in the House will cost U.S. taxpayers. In the Senate version, which combined all four of them, senators were debating a $118 billion bill in February, according to an ABC News story. 

Meanwhile, the current national debt is more than $34.6 trillion and climbing, with $1 trillion being added to the national debt every 100 days, according to CNBC.

Because of inflation, gas and grocery prices continue to rise. The current rate of inflation is 3.4 percent, up from February and March.

Not all Republicans on Capitol Hill oppose continued support of Ukraine. Murphy says he supports Ukraine funding and says Biden’s foreign policy weakness caused the war by creating an emboldened Vladimir Putin.

“Six months into his presidency we very ingloriously left Afghanistan after 20 years. The ramifications of such weakness as he has shown repeatedly, are now affecting all centers of the world," he said. "I firmly believe Ukraine would have never happened. Had Biden not done that, Putin never would have jumped that.  Now we’re testing China. Israel is being tested." 

Reacting to demands, Speaker Johnson is introducing separate bills. 

"You don’t like something, don’t vote for it. That’s a very judicious approach,” Murphy said.

Before the bills can come to the floor, the House will have to pass a rule allowing this procedure.

That’s Step 1.

Step 2 will be the House unifying its slim majority to pass the bills.

Step 3 will be getting them through the Senate.

“Some of these folks just don’t get it," Murphy insisted. "We don’t have the Senate. We don’t have the White House. We cannot have every full-blooded red meat Republican agenda. We just can’t do it. Some people want to tear down the government to do it. What an absolute way to let the far Left win.”