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USA. The Senate has made a decision on Ukraine. Republicans furious with the speaker

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The first aid package, which included over $60 billion for Kiev, was adopted by the Senate in February. Immediately afterwards, there was pressure on Speaker Mike Johnson to put the package to a vote as soon as possible, because Ukraine I need support immediately. However, Johnson announced that there would be no quick vote because the bill that passed the Senate is useless and the House must prepare a new proposal.

For weeks, when Johnson was asked about aid for Ukraine and when his interlocutors pointed out that Kiev could no longer wait because Ukrainian soldiers had nothing to shoot at, every time the same alarmist warnings came from the White House, that Ukraine would lose without US help, Johnson replied that first the invasion of illegal immigrants on America's southern border must be dealt with. He seemed completely unfazed the fact that one of his decisions – to announce the vote or not – is of key importance for Ukraine and is a life-and-death decision.

He was called the main blocker of aid for Ukraine because it was known that there was a cross-party majority in the House which, if only a vote had taken place, would have allowed the adoption of the package, but Johnson did not announce the vote.

Everything changed in mid-April. Johnson began to clearly distance himself from his political camp, from party colleagues claiming that Ukraine is not America's problem and that helping it is throwing American taxpayers' money down the drain.

When Johnson announced at a congressional press conference last Wednesday that the projects, including the one regarding Ukraine, were ready and that the vote would take place, he already sounded like a staunch supporter of helping Kiev.

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– If we don't stop Vladimir Putinto he will continue his march across Europe. I think it will go to the Baltics or clash with Polandor with our other ally z NATO. Simply put, Johnson continued, I'd rather send missiles to Ukraine than have to send American boys.

And when he said these words, it is very likely that he was thinking about his son, who will soon start studies at the naval academy.

One may ask the question – did Speaker Johnson really not realize the seriousness of the situation before, or did he only recently understand what was happening in the world and how much depended on him? Some of his prominent congressional colleagues admit that Johnson did received a crash course in foreign policy and he needed time to fully realize how difficult and how critical a moment for the security of the world he had to lead the work of the House of Representatives.

Eye-opening meetings

The election of Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House last October was surprising, and Johnson had a meteoric rise to fame. Johnson was elected to Congress in 2016. He was a deeply conservative politician Republican Party. He was not a front-bench congressman, was not famous for any bold legislative idea. However, he had a feature that made him stand out – he was widely liked and had no enemies in the Republican Party. And this was supposed to determine him as a candidate for speaker after weeks of searching for a successor to Kevin McCarthy, who was dismissed from office after weeks of chaos in Congress and Republicans sinking into chaos.

When Mike Johnson took over as Speaker, he went from being a little-known politician became the third most important person in United States. From a congressman who had no previous contacts with the most important party leaders, who was not invited to the White House, he became a politician with whom everyone consulted everything, to whose office there were queues of people seeking a meeting, with whom the American president negotiated the most important issues in the country. Mike Johnson entered the political arena, and with it came knowledge he had not previously had and was not looking for.

As one of the leaders on Capitol Hill, he began to regularly receive intelligence information, including classified information.

– Mike had a hunger for knowledge, he absorbed every piece of information – says Republican Michael McCaul, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who regularly talked to Johnson about aid for Ukraine.

In the Oval Office in the White House, Johnson heard about the critical situation on the Ukrainian front from President Biden, from the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who has not only been one of the most important American politicians for decades, but also is a big supporter of arming Ukraine and heard from Democratic leaders . Johnson was to be greatly influenced by one of his last meetings with the head of the CIA, William Burns, during which Burns was to convey further information about the dramatic situation in Ukraine. From all these meetings and deliberations, there was one conclusion: that without Washington's help, Ukraine would not survive. And Johnson, unlike his colleagues from the radical wing, took what he heard seriously.

I believe in the intelligence that comes to me. I believe that Xi, Putin and Iran this is the axis of evil – said the speaker of the House of Representatives a few days ago.

Johnson increasingly felt that on his shoulders was the responsibility for – however pathetic it may sound – the fate of Ukraine and America's continued leadership in the world.

Prayer and pressure from Europe

Politicians from Europe sought meetings with the speaker, who wanted him to hear from them how important it is to quickly adopt the package for Ukraine. Mike Johnson talked, among others, with the head of British diplomacy, David Cameron, who, after this meeting, made it clear that representatives of European governments have an important role to play in persuading the American speaker to help Ukraine. About what it means to live in a neighborhood Russia Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister, told Johnson from her own experience Estoniaand just a few days before the vote The Czech Prime Minister met with the speaker. The president also saw Mike Johnson Andrzej Dudawhen he was with the Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Washington at the invitation of President Biden. During this visit, the words of the head of the Polish government also resonated strongly: Johnson is responsible for the lives of thousands of people: women and children.

President Zelensky also spoke with Johnson, who described the situation on the front, the declining morale of Ukrainian soldiers who had nothing to shoot with and the increasingly faster march of the Russian army forward.

All these words, requests and data transferred slowly changed Johnson's attitude.

– We can no longer play politics on this issue – he said in Congress when presenting aid projects.

Just before the projects were announced, Johnson no longer asked for advice. He immersed himself in prayer. He is a very deeply religious person and has always emphasized this.

– During our conversations, I appealed to him because of his faith, his conscience and sensitivity. I know Mike prayed the night before the designs were posted. And ultimately he knew what had to be done, said Rep. McCaul.

Friends became enemies

On the day of the vote, Johnson knew he had failed to convince him to help Ukraine the most conservative wing of the Republican Party, i.e. his former congress friends. To them, Johnson is no longer their announcer, he is now a traitor.

Just after the votes in Congress, the loudest voice of the radical conservative group – Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, outraged by the speaker's attitude, said that Johnson and those who voted for the aid package do not listen to ordinary Americans who are angry because they do not feel that anyone cares their problems.

One recent survey shows that as many as 61 percent of Republican Party voters believe the United States should not send more military aid to Ukraine.

Greene prepared a motion to dismiss Johnson as speakerbut is not putting it to a vote yet, even though he says it would be easily adopted.

The fact is that the majority of congressmen of the Republican Party voted against aid for Ukraine – 112 votes, while 100 votes were in favor. However, not all opponents of supporting Ukraine are ready to dismiss Johnson. Even if he cannot count on help from his own party, those who stand on the other side of the political barricade – the democrats – have already announced help.

– She can make many different motions, but I will never allow her to control the House of Representatives. She just adds fuel to the fire. I want to China and Russia became more powerful. He wants the ayatollahs to take over Israeland Putin Europe. She is a danger to the country – Congressman Moskowitz thunders.

Democrat Mike Quigley, a congressman from Illinois, added: “I think Speaker Johnson has a very good rating in our ranks right now, the best he's ever had.”

However, the better the Democrats' ratings, the greater the fury of the far-right wing of the Republicans. Congressmen are now on break and are scattered around the country. They will return to Washington next week. Majorie Taylor Greene will also return with a motion to dismiss Johnson. He assures that he is not afraid of losing his position.

– What we did was right and I think history will judge it well – says Mike Johnson.

The question is whether history will forgive him for blocking much-needed aid for Ukraine struggling to survive for so many weeks.

For Interia from Washington, Magda Sakowska, Polsat News

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