The Republican leader of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday blocked war aid for Ukraine, ignoring President Joe Biden's plea that passing the bill was vital for standing up to "Russian dictator" Vladimir Putin.

Speaker Mike Johnson, who works closely with Biden's likely challenger in the November election Donald Trump, told reporters he has no intention even of allowing a vote on the bill.

"I certainly don't," he said.

The bill was approved in the Senate earlier Tuesday. It includes $95 billion in funding, mostly for the security of pro-Western Ukraine, as well as for the top US strategic priorities of Israel and Taiwan.

At the White House, Biden said that helping US allies -- and particularly coming to the aid of Ukraine as it struggles to fend off a two-year Russian invasion -- is a fundamental responsibility.

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"History is watching," said Biden, repeating the phrase five times in televised remarks. "Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing it is playing into Putin's hands," the Democrat added.

Biden also lashed out at Trump after the former one-term president encouraged Russia to attack NATO members who failed to meet financial commitments.

"For God’s sake, it's dumb. It's shameful. It's dangerous. It's un-American," Biden said, saying that twice-impeached Trump viewed the Western military alliance as a "protection racket."

"No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator."

- Republican maneuvers -

Trump Says Make Ukraine Aid ‘In the Form of Loan’
Other Topics of Interest

Trump Says Make Ukraine Aid ‘In the Form of Loan’

Former US President Donald Trump said he is not opposed to Republicans approving a military aid package Kyiv has been pleading for months, but that it should “exist in the form of a loan.”

US aid to Ukraine has been paralyzed for months by chaos in Congress, even as Kyiv begs for help to counter increased Russian attacks.

The $95 billion Senate package includes funding for Israel's military and for democratic island Taiwan, but the lion's share -- $60 billion -- would help Ukraine restock ammunition supplies, weapons and other crucial needs.

It passed easily in the Senate when enough Republicans defied Trump's behind-the-scenes maneuvers.

But Johnson then said he could not address Ukraine's security without first having strict new measures to stop illegal migration into the United States across the Mexican border.

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"We really do owe it to the American people to get control of that border," he said.

In fact, Democrats in the Senate had already worked with Republicans to craft a joint bill which provided the foreign aid, while at the same time imposing the harshest new US border security measures in decades.

That bill was primed for approval in the Senate when Johnson announced it would be killed in the House.

This prompted the Senate to ditch that version and switch to Tuesday's new foreign-aid-only bill -- which was once again rejected by Johnson.

- 'Fundamental dishonesty' -

Trump -- who dominates the Republican Party despite losing the last election and now facing 91 criminal counts in four separate cases -- has pulled the strings in Congress throughout the saga.

He opposes helping Ukraine's fight against Russia, saying he would resolve the war in one day if elected, and he has openly told lawmakers not to pass US border reforms -- while campaigning heavily on what he says is a desperate need to fix the border.

Biden has attacked Trump for using the border issue as a political battering ram.

About the same number of voters in an ABC Ipsos poll on Sunday blamed Republicans (53 percent), Democrats (51 percent), but Biden was blamed by 49 percent for the failure to pass border laws -- while only 39 percent blamed Trump.

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One Republican senator, Bill Cassidy, lashed out at his party Tuesday after Johnson killed the aid bill.

"I'm incredibly frustrated. I'm frustrated because I feel this is a fundamental dishonesty with the American people," he said.

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Comments (7)

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Lucy Price
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Don't you think Mike Johnston looks like a wimp. Trumps yes man. I am shocked at the House of Representatives behavior. Putin must love Trump.

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Imokru2
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The Republicans have made clear for months now that action on the US southern border needs to take place before a vote on foreign aid can take place

This is an election year and neither side wants to give an advantage to the other.

In addition, Republicans despise the dems for all the false charges they have laid against Trump. Upon appeal, he will not be convicted of any of them.

The people below are just partisan dem supporters.

Nikki Haley needs to remove herself from the GOP race and run as an Independent. I can’t support her because I am Canadian, but I can certainly root for her. She seems to be the only sensible one left who has the background for the Presidency. Biden will not be the dem nominee and
polarizing Trump will not be able to beat his replacement.

Michael
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@Imokru2, Johnson is effectively saying to Ukrainians: "we may give you help to fight off Russia, but not until after 5 November 2024 at the earliest, because you will have to wait until the Mexican border is fixed, and we refuse to do anything at all about that until Trump is elected." Charming.

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Barruntaranchos
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@Imokru2, You sound exactly like the Russian trolls that are so abundant. You say that you are Canadian, but just after that you say that all charges against Trump are false and he will be free from all of them, and in the end you say that all posts against Trump are from Democrats. You sound exactly like all scunbag Russian trolls paid by the sycopath criminal Vladimir Putin (cloned in the US in the figure of Donald Trump).

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David
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I hope and expect that Johnson will be shortly removed from the House speakership.

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Steve G.
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Johnson is a pathetic little man, an extremist who views himself as a principled hero. This is all happening because the Republicans were too spineless to kick Trump out after he lost.

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saqqara
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Trumps narcissism is controlling more and more of the Republican Party. The diagnosis suggests that he will not stop until he has replaced all with loyalists. It is exactly the same playbook as the Nazis used in Germany during the 1930:s. No wonder he slips and reveal phrases from his literature some times. At some point sanity is going to have to wake up and take control. Garbage like Trumps crew belongs in the gutter.

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Andy
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Not very democrat if only one person can control everything, and it's not even the president!

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Up yours mike
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This mike johnson just want to look important and have airtime 24 7. Mist before sunrise, superman syndrome. History will remember you as a waffle lil johnson.

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