Democrat Lawmaker Slams Speaker Johnson

Democrat Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut last week blasted Speaker Mike Johnson’s decision to have the House vote on a stand-alone aid package for Israel, calling it “very dirty pool,” Politico reported.

While appearing on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” last Sunday alongside Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner, Himes described Johnson’s decision as “an act of staggering bad faith.”

In a February 3 letter to Republican House members, Speaker Johnson blasted the Senate for “failing to include the House” when negotiating a foreign aid bill that included some changes to border policy, saying that by doing so, the Senate eliminated the ability for a swift consideration of any legislation.”

In his letter, Johnson said the House would take up a stand-alone aid package for Israel.

Himes told “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan that Johnson didn’t wait until the language of the bipartisan Senate border deal was ready before announcing it would be “dead on arrival.” He said while most lawmakers support aid to Israel, Johnson’s decision to move ahead with a stand-alone bill would “allow him to ultimately not do a border deal” because some Republican lawmakers would rather keep the border crisis as an issue in the November election than try to solve it.

The House failed to pass the stand-alone aid bill for Israel on Tuesday, CBS News reported.

The measure only received 250 votes in the House, far short of the two-thirds majority necessary for the measure to be approved. A total of 166 Democrats and 14 Republicans voted against the bill that would have sent $17.6 billion in aid to Israel.

Speaker Johnson described the vote as a “disappointing rebuke” to America’s closest Middle East ally “at their time of great need.”

Johnson said in a statement that even after making “major concessions” to address their concerns, the Democrats refused to support the stand-alone bill. He said this refusal made it clear that the Democrats were “committed to using Israel aid as leverage to force through” priorities that don’t have as much bipartisan support in Congress.