'Several' Republicans Ready To Sign Discharge Petition Against Mike Johnson

'several' republicans ready to sign discharge petition against mike johnson

Mike Johnson speaks following a briefing with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the U.S. Capitol on February 15 in Washington, D.C. Johnson has said the Senate deal is “dead on arrival” in the House.

A number of Republicans are prepared to add a “pressure point” to Speaker Mike Johnson in a bid to secure funding for Ukraine, a GOP congressman has said, following suggestions of a discharge petition to force a vote in the House.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said he spoke to “several” other Republicans in the House who are prepared to find another way of bringing forward, in some form, a $95 billion foreign aid bill agreed on by the Senate.

Johnson has previously said the $95 billion deal, which contains around $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, would be “dead on arrival” in the House and has so far refused to bring it to a vote.

“I wouldn’t necessarily phrase this as going around anybody, this is just to add a pressure point,” Fitzpatrick said on The Lead with Jake Tapper on February 27.

Tapper asked the Pennsylvania Republican if there were other Republicans willing to support efforts to bring a Ukraine deal to the House floor. Fitzpatrick said he was unwilling to name any of the supportive Republicans he spoke to, but that there were “several.”

Ukraine-supporting Republicans have floated the idea of a discharge petition to force a vote in the House. It requires a majority, in this case 218 signatures, to force a motion on a vote to discharge.

If that passes, the House can then vote on the Senate deal. Whether enough Republicans will sign up to the discharge petition is unclear, despite the likelihood of the overall deal passing in the House.

Newsweek has approached Johnson’s office for comment via an email outside of normal working hours.

Johnson said in a previous statement before the Senate bill passed that “America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo” and that any attempts to bring the deal to the floor would be opposed.

“In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” he said.

Signing a discharge petition would be a clear and significant break from the party leadership and could potentially undermine Johnson.

Former President Donald Trump has indicated his opposition to the Senate bill.

Democrats already have a discharge petition, but with little to no Republican support. The discharge petition Fitzpatrick referred to is Republican-led and would need Democrat backing.

Fitzpatrick appeared on CNN with Democrat Rep. Jared Golden. Golden said a smaller version of the bill with border security funding, $49 billion in aid for Ukraine but no funding yet for Israel and Gaza was being proposed.

Some Democrats may feel that the trimmed version of the bill put forward by Golden and Fitzpatrick would blow any chance of the full deal agreed in the Senate from passing. Others could take issue with the lack of funding for Israel and Gaza.

Golden said the slimmed bill could have amendments added, however.

On February 25, Fitzpatrick told CBS expedited consideration of the petition to be fast-tracked had been filed.

Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent based in Kyiv, added: “We are trying to add an additional pressure point on something that has to happen.”

Ukraine says it needs American aid to continue the fight against Vladimir Putin’s invading forces. It has suffered a number of recent setbacks, including withdrawing from multiple settlements near the captured Donetsk city of Avdiivka.

Hardline Republicans are concerned about spending in Ukraine instead of on the border.

There were more than 2.4 million migrant encounters at the southern border during the 2023 fiscal year, up from roughly 1.7 million in 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

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