Unveiling the Veil: Speaker Johnson’s Momentous Journey to Kyiv

“Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) achieved something rarely, if ever, seen during the MAGA era. He successfully secured the passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. In doing so, he defied the loudest and most threatening GOP personalities, delved into government intelligence, and underwent a significant shift in his stance on crucial foreign policy legislation.

The significance of Johnson’s road-to-Kyiv political conversion cannot be overstated. Not only did he change his own position on funding and arming Ukraine, but he also went against the majority of his party to do so. His bold move even put his speakership at risk.

This achievement stands out in an era of tribal politics and congressional dysfunction. It represents a rare triumph of consequential bipartisanship, demonstrating what can happen when both sides work together to tackle difficult issues.

The involvement of other top congressional leaders — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — added further complexity. They questioned how Russia’s war might escalate beyond Ukraine without new weapons. Jeffries likened it to a “Churchill or Chamberlain moment.”

President Biden’s national security team, led by CIA Director Bill Burns, meticulously briefed Johnson on the damning intelligence. The revelations were so impactful that Johnson urged colleagues to visit the secure government chamber and see the evidence for themselves.

Despite initial stumbling, Johnson didn’t back down. He combined other national security imperatives, such as funding for Israel and the TikTok ban, to garner support from his party. Although the process was messy and time-consuming, given the dynamics among House Republicans, it’s remarkable that it succeeded.

The end result: Johnson secured passage of the Ukraine bill, with Republicans split on the issue, but other components passed with overwhelming majorities. Funding for Israel and the Indo-Pacific, along with the TikTok ban, also slipped under the radar amid the Ukraine headlines.

Hats off to Hakeem Jeffries, the unsung hero among House Dems, who consistently rallied majorities for every bill. In many ways, he saved Johnson’s efforts.

Zooming in on Ukraine, Republicans historically avoid voting on measures they oppose. Pushing this through was particularly stunning. Even powerful GOP committee chairs, including those from the Biden impeachment inquiry, voted against Johnson.

On the other side, Johnson’s approach echoes Reagan’s handling of Gorbachev, according to Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.).

In summary, amidst a chaotic Congress, this historic interruption ensures Ukraine receives its weapons, Israel gets financial assistance, and TikTok faces consequences. But it remains to be seen whether Johnson’s bold move will cost him his job.”

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