White House Accuses Republican Speaker of Favoring Iran and Russia in Ukraine Aid Block

Republican Speaker of the U.S. House, Mike Johnson.
Republican Speaker of the U.S. House, Mike Johnson. Credit | AP

United States – The White House doubled down on its criticism of the Republican Speaker of the U.S. House, Mike Johnson, on Friday, saying that he favored Iran and Russia by not putting the national security bill that aids Ukraine up for a vote. Despite U.S. sanctions, Iran has supplied Russia with a significant amount of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, six sources said to Reuters this week, which has further increased military cooperation between the two countries.

Fingers Pointed at Speaker

The deputy press secretary and senior communications adviser Andrew Bates said in a memo viewed by Reuters that will be distributed publicly on Friday that Iran is “actively enabling Russia’s war in Ukraine and its attacks against Ukrainian cities.”

“President Biden is standing up to Iran. But where is Speaker Johnson’s supposed commitment not to ‘appease Iran’ in all this? Nowhere. Instead, his inaction is benefiting Putin and the Ayatollah,” the memo says.

Assures Allies Amidst Ukraine War

Top members of the Biden administration visited Europe last weekend, trying to fit the mood about the possibility of the ending of the US military help to Ukraine and assuring the allies from Paris, Berlin, and Kyiv as the war enters its third year that the United States will find legs to stay committed, as reported by Reuters.

Public Criticism Uncommon

In previous negotiations about the debt ceiling and other spending issues with Republicans in Congress, the Biden White House mostly left the public criticism to others and dealt with them in a quiet manner. However, it has shot at Johnson a number of times; for instance, it accused him of undermining the security of the borders on Valentine’s Day.

Last Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly (70–30) adopted a $95 billion package that would aid Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine. Twenty-two Republicans voted in favor of the plan, joining the majority of Democrats who cast “aye.”

Without putting the proposal to a vote, Johnson adjourned the House for two weeks, stating that “we’re not going to be forced into action by the Senate.”

Calls for Bipartisan Support

He argues the package of international military and humanitarian assistance should also include measures to deal with security at the U.S.-Mexico border, contrary to efforts of the Republicans who have blocked the earlier bill with the most significant overhaul of U.S. immigration policy in years.

Republicans and Democrats in the Republican Senate have been added to those calling for passage of the aid bill. Some argue that it would carry the House with bipartisan support if Johnson would only let it be voted on, as reported by Reuters.

Trump’s Unusual Stance on NATO Allies

Visual Representation – Trump’s threat to NATO allies. Credit | AP

“Putin has signaled he could attack NATO countries the United States is obligated to defend if he succeeds in Ukraine,” the memo warns.

“If House Republicans facilitate Ukraine’s defeat, America could face costs infinitely more expensive than the bipartisan investments we need to make in Ukraine’s capacity to defend themselves,” it reads, as reported by Reuters.

In spite of Trump, a Republican presidential nominee and long-time controversial figure regarding the NATO alliance, in the last weeks, he criticized the fact that Russia would attack European allies, and he set a possibility of US withdrawal from the coalition unless the allies start paying their contributions to NATO according to the initial agreement.