Many Republicans Ready To Sign Discharge Petition Against Mike Johnson

( – Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is on thin ice with his party over the aid package awaiting a vote on the House floor, with a number of GOP representatives preparing to introduce a new “pressure point” against him to secure aid for Ukraine.

According to Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, some Republican lawmakers are floating the idea of a discharge petition against Johnson to force a vote on the House floor to ensure that the $95 billion foreign aid package approved by the Senate is considered, or at least some form of it. A previous version of the package included funding for border security and immigration reforms, but Senate Republicans weren’t happy with it and blocked the effort, which Johnson also said would be “dead on arrival” on the House floor.

Fitzpatrick appeared on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and told Tapper that he wouldn’t phrase the discharge petition idea “as going around anybody,” but as a way to “add a pressure point” on the House Speaker. Tapper then asked if there were other GOP representatives who support bringing a deal to fund Ukraine to the House floor by discharge petition. The Pennsylvania congressman said there were “several” he spoke to, yet he would not name any names.

Johnson previously said that “America deserves better” than what the Senate has proposed, and that the deal wouldn’t make it to the House floor due to “the absence” of any proposed border policy changes, leaving the House to “work its own will on these important matters.”

A discharge petition would force the House to vote on the foreign aid package, but forcing the motion will take a majority vote of 218 signatures. Such a move could undermine Johnson and would be a significant and potentially pivotal break from GOP leadership by those Republicans who support the measure, although it would also require Democrat backing to pass.

Appearing alongside Fitzpatrick on CNN was Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, who said that a smaller version of the bill is now being proposed, which would only give $49 billion to Ukraine but doesn’t include the suggested funding for Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. This reduced version by the two representatives could kill any chances of gaining enough Democrat support, but Golden said amendments could always be added later.

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