What to Know in Washington: Johnson Plans House Israel Aid Vote

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The House plans to consider legislation this week related to Iran after its attack on Israel. Speaker Mike Johnson is also in talks with the White House on an aid package for Israel, which could include funds for Ukraine.

“The House Republicans and the Republican party understand the necessity of standing with Israel,” Johnson (R-La.) said on Fox News. “The details of that package are being put together now.”

Photographer: Tierney Cross/Bloomberg
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Nov. 14.

The speaker has been working to put together an alternative to the Senate-passed $95 billion package that has funds for Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific.

However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is urging Johnson to simply pass the Ukraine-Israel package approved in the Senate. “The national security supplemental that has waited months for action will provide critical resources to Israel and our own military forces in the region,” he said in a statement Saturday.

Johnson said Donald Trump is supportive of supplying Ukraine with loans instead of grants and using Russian assets to pay for new aid. Those elements could be part of the package, he said. Read more from Erik Wasson.

Lebanon-based HEZBOLLAH could be drawn into a direct clash between Iran and Israel and heighten the risks of a regional war. If the attack by Iran — which supports Hezbollah — spurs a severe counter-response by Israel, “we’re spiraling into somewhere very dangerous,” Bloomberg analyst Ziad Daoud said. Read more.

Israel said Hamas rejected the latest CEASE-FIRE proposal from mediators, according to Israeli intelligence. While Mossad didn’t directly say the Iranian drone and missile strikes over the weekend were to blame, it said Hamas’ leader in Gaza “is continuing to exploit the tension with Iran.” Read more.

Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN discussed Iran’s air attack against Israel with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, according to the State Department. Read more.


  • President Joe Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shyaa Al-Sudani around noon.
  • Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic around 3 p.m.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will deliver a briefing around 1:30 p.m.


  • The House returns today at 2 p.m. for legislative business, including several bills to punish Iran.
  • Senators return today and are expected to receive articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tomorrow.
  • For the full detailed agenda read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

More Foreign Policy News

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing in 2023. Photo by Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

CHINA is providing RUSSIA with significant quantities of components to build cruise missiles and drones as well as optical parts for tanks and armored vehicles, allowing Moscow to ramp up defense production in its war against Ukraine, senior US officials said.

  • The White House urged Chinese firms to cease their support and encouraged Europe to put pressure on Beijing to do the same, according to a US official. Read more.

Treasury Secretary JANET YELLEN warned China’s leaders that the nation’s manufacturing power is a threat to global economic stability. This week, Washington has a chance to rally more allies to its cause during spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Read more.

The US and UK levied restrictions on RUSSIAN metals like aluminum, copper, and nickel that will reverberate across global metal markets, in the latest bid to curb President Vladimir Putin’s ability to fund his war machine as the Kremlin makes gains in Ukraine. Read more.

Trump’s Grip on Washington

Mike Johnson and Donald Trump in Palm Beach on Friday. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TRUMP offered his support for MIKE JOHNSON as the embattled speaker fights to keep his leadership post under growing pressure from ultraconservative lawmakers, hoping to tamp down on divisions in the Republican caucus on Capitol Hill.

  • Johnson traveled to Florida and vowed to propose legislation touching on two of Trump’s favored political issues: border security and election integrity. Trump looked on as Johnson spoke, before taking questions from reporters at Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday. Read more.

TRUMP endorsed DAVID MCCORMICK, who’s running to represent Pennsylvania in the US Senate, granting the former hedge fund executive a stamp of approval he failed to win the last time he ran for office. “He’s a very successful guy,” Trump said at a rally Saturday. Read more.

The SUPREME COURT gets its first look at the legal implications of the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol. At issue is whether the DOJ went too far in charging some defendants with an Enron-era statute meant to curb evidence destruction, which could carry a 20-year prison sentence. Read more.

  • Bribery Statute: The Supreme Court is also hearing an appeal that could substantially limit the federal programs bribery statute—long a go-to tool for US prosecutors targeting corruption by state and local public officials. Read more.

Sanctions cases against some of TRUMP’s 2020 election lawyers show the legal establishment is moving to punish abuses tied to the contest — even as those wheels turn slowly. They include Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro. Read more.

More in Politics and Probes

Sherrod Brown in Washington in 2023. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

STEEL-STATE Democrats in tough reelection fights want the White House to do more to stop the proposed acquisition of US Steel by Nippon Steel. “We’re pushing the White House on national security grounds and on trade enforcement,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told Bloomberg TV.

  • The Senate race for Brown, who chairs the influential Senate Banking Committee, is considered one of the most competitive contests in November, and appealing to industrial workers and labor unions will be key to his reelection prospects. Read more.

RUNOFFS tomorrow will decide who could make history in a new Alabama district. Shomari Figures, whose resume includes a senior role under Attorney General Merrick Garland, faces fellow Democrat Anthony Daniels, the state legislature’s House minority leader. Read more.

TRUMP is poised to become the first former president to face a criminal trial. The New York trial starting today over the alleged falsification of business records to conceal a sex scandal during Trump’s 2016 campaign is one of four criminal cases against the former president, but it’s the only one set to go to trial before his November rematch against Biden. Read more.

Coming Up on Capitol Hill

Whether COLLEGE ATHLETES athletes should be considered employees is dividing Democrats in Congress, who are struggling to pave a path forward even as congressional Republicans and the NCAA present a united front against such a classification. Read more.

A growing tension over regulating DRUG benefits between state law and federal preemption will be high on lawmakers’ radars at a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing this week on strengthening the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Read more.

What Else We’re Watching

US BANKS are boosting lending to clients in OIL, GAS, and COAL, grabbing market share as bigger rivals in Europe back away from the fossil fuel industry. The list of banks includes Citizens Financial, BOK Financial, and Truist, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Read more.

The White House’s move to scale back new MERGER review requirements is a win for corporate law firms, who warned the changes would add unnecessary costs to deals. The finalized rule generally will put smaller burdens on merging parties, the agency said. Read more.

The Biden administration plans to award SAMSUNG as much as $6.4 billion in grants to increase chip production in Texas, as part of US efforts to bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Read more.

The IRS outperformed many of its filing season goals, sustaining momentum from last year thanks to extra cash from Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act as the tax collection agency rebounds from decades of underfunding, Commissioner Danny Werfel told reporters Friday. Read more.

Compact fluorescent LIGHT BULBS — once seen as corkscrew-shaped emblems of the clean-energy transition — will effectively be phased out under a Biden administration rule finalized last week setting new requirements for the most commonly used types of lighting. Read more.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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