Senior Democrat says Johnson’s plan risks ‘boiling Ukraine to death slowly’

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) said Tuesday he is “deeply concerned” about Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.)’s new plan for foreign aid, calling on the Speaker to instead bring the Senate-passed security supplemental to the floor to secure funding for Ukraine.

“We’ve already waited weeks too long. And I do also want to go on record as being deeply concerned about the convoluted process that the Speaker announced yesterday for trying to get that help to Ukraine,” Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said during a Tuesday hearing.

Smith noted that while the House is not obligated to accept the Senate emergency supplemental package in its exact form, the House has had “seven months to do that,” and did not.

“At this point, coming up with the twisted process that was announced yesterday, will only further delay. Best-case scenario, if they pull this together — maybe two months from now — we’re able to figure this out, once it goes back to the Senate with all of these additional provisions that the Senate has to sort its way through … that is basically boiling Ukraine to death slowly,” he said.

Johnson unveiled his plan Monday to move foreign aid through the House, pushing for four separate bills to cover aid for Ukraine, Israel, Twain and other national security priorities. The plan came after months of delay in the wake of sharp GOP divisions over how to move forward.

Johnson declined to bring the Senate’s $95 billion foreign aid bill to the floor that combined the various funding elements into a single package. He said the text of the bills would be released “sometime early” on Tuesday and plans to hold votes before the end of the week.

Further aid for Ukraine has been left in limbo for more than a year as the embattled nation tries to fend off Russia’s invasion.

“I know members of this committee understand — and I don’t know if the public more broadly does — just how close to the edge Ukraine is right now,” Smith said. “But crucially, if they were to get more weapons, they could successfully defend their country. They have proven that over the court of the two-plus years of this war. Absent that, you will see Russia impede in the not too distant future. We need to get that support to Ukraine now.”

The Hill reached out to Johnson’s office for further comment.

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