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Exclusive: Republicans to face pro-Ukraine deluge on return to DC

April 8, 2024

Republican lawmakers returning to DC next week will be hounded at every turn with reminders of the pressure they face to pass aid for Ukraine, reports Axios.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) has signaled that the coming weeks will be a make-or-break period on Ukraine and other foreign aid funding.

Pro-Ukraine conservative group,Republicans for Ukraine, is launching a six-figure billboard campaign, according to plans first shared with Axios.

The mobile billboards highlight pro-Ukraine Republican voters with the message: “We’re Republicans. We support Ukraine. Don’t let Putin win.”

The billboards will be stationed at Reagan National Airport as lawmakers fly into D.C. on April 7 and April 8, as well as at bus stops and circling the Capitol.

“Most House Republicans know that helping Ukraine is the right thing to do, but they’ve chosen to stay silent and ignore the problem,” said Republicans for Ukraine spokesperson Gunner Ramer.

“That means further loss of life in Ukraine and more leeway for Putin to act with impunity, which emboldens America’s adversaries like China, Iran, and North Korea.”

The group, which keeps a report card tracking House Republicans’ votes and statements on Ukraine, has run several ad campaigns pressing Republicans to support Ukraine aid.

In February, it ran ads in the districts of ten pro-Ukraine House Republicans—urging them to sign onto Democrats’ discharge petition to force a vote on the Senate’s $95 billion Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan aid package.

Johnson has said that he plans to have the House vote on both Ukraine and Israel aid in some form when the House returns.

He has floated several ideas aimed at making Ukraine aid more palatable to Republicans, such as structuring it as a loan and attaching legislation to reverse the Biden Administration’s pause on liquefied natural gas exports.

But Democrats have scoffed at those proposals, with some even pushing for additional humanitarian aid to be added to the package.

Any Ukraine aid package will almost certainly need the support of most House Democrats and a sizable chunk of Republicans.

A sign of withering GOP support for Ukraine: 104 House Republicans voted in September to quash $300 million in aid to Ukraine, with 117 voting to keep the funding.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) has gone so far as to threaten a vote to remove Johnson, should he hold a vote on Ukraine aid.

NBC polling last November found that 55% of voters support sending more aid to Ukraine, including 35% of Republicans—although an AP poll in February found that just 14% of Republicans believe the USA is sending too little aid to Ukraine.

Research contact: @axios