What to Know in Washington: Who to Watch in House Aid Push

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This week will help decide the future of Mike Johnson’s speakership — as well as aid to Ukraine that supporters say is necessary to avoid another world war.

Johnson’s (R-La.) plan calls for breaking up the Senate-passed foreign aid package into four separate bills — one each for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and a fourth for various GOP priorities tied to foreign affairs.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) (L) hands the gavel to newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) on October 25, 2023.

With the House on the brink of chaos, a few major players will jostle over whether Congress sends foreign aid to the president’s desk, and if Johnson’s leadership survives the week. Here are five lawmakers to watch as the House heats up, as reported by Bloomberg Government’s Maeve Sheehey and Jonathan Tamari.

  • Hakeem Jeffries: Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is about as powerful as a minority leader could be. The House GOP’s narrow majority and deep divisions mean Johnson will need Democrats to pass foreign aid to Ukraine, giving Jeffries huge leverage.
  • Michael Burgess: New Rules Chair Burgess (R-Texas) faces a tough test on foreign aid, just about a week after he got the gavel. Johnson has signaled he’ll try to pass a rule governing all four bills. That sets up Burgess’ first major trial as chair.
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene: Johnson will have a one-vote majority after Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) resigns Friday, meaning Greene (Ga.) just needs two more Republicans on board next week if Democrats don’t bail the speaker out.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: While most Democrats are eager to support any bill that provides the long-sought aid to allies, there’s growing dismay with Israel’s conduct on the left. So keep an eye on the New York congresswoman.
  • Brian Fitzpatrick: A Problem Solvers co-chair and co-chair of the House’s Ukraine Caucus, Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) has been trying for weeks to find a compromise solution to aid Kyiv, so he’s likely to be encouraged by a plan to finally move forward.


  • President Joe Biden will head to Pittsburgh around 11:30 a.m. from Scranton, Pa., where he’ll greet steelworkers around 12:45 p.m. and deliver remarks around 1:45 p.m. Read more about his pitch.
  • Biden will return to the White House after 5 p.m.


  • The House meets around noon to vote on a bill that would bar federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies from purchasing customer information from data brokers.
  • The Senate returns at 11 a.m. with impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas set to begin at 1 p.m.
  • For the full detailed agenda read BGOV’S Congress Tracker.

Also Happening on the Hill

Photographer: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) at the US Capitol on Feb. 27.

BOEING’S safety culture will be the focus of two congressional hearings today, with lawmakers questioning safety experts and a whistleblower as Congress weighs the next steps to address to troubled airplane manufacturer.

  • The competing Senate hearings reflect probes into the planemaker amid federal investigations and a forthcoming corporate leadership overhaul. Read more.
  • The mid-flight blowout was not a surprise, considering shortcomings in the company’s safety culture, an aerospace expert plans to tell lawmakers today. Read more.
  • A Boeing engineer says the 787 should be grounded, NBC reported yesterday, citing an exclusive interview with the whistle-blower ahead of today’s hearing. Read more.

LOCKHEED MARTIN’S delay in delivering F-35 jets with computer hardware and software upgrades is likely to persist until August or September, a Pentagon official told members of Congress. Read more.

The HHS INSPECTOR GENERAL told lawmakers that her office declines investigating “300 to 400 viable fraud cases” involving Medicare and Medicaid each year “because we don’t have the agents to work them.” Read more.

  • Drug Middlemen: Meanwhile in health care, employers told lawmakers that pharmacy benefit managers should be required to act as fiduciaries acting in the interest of beneficiaries. Read more.

A long-delayed bid to write a new law for STABLECOINS is getting a push from an unexpected lawmaker: crypto-skeptic Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Read more.

People, Power, and Politics

Photographer: Maeve Sheehey/Bloomberg Government
Congressional candidate Bhavini Patel speaks to Jewish Pittsburgh residents about her campaign to unseat Rep. Summer Lee.

A race in PENNSYLVANIA may show how large ISRAEL will loom over later primaries where members of the progressive nine-member “Squad”— including Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), are facing centrist challengers.

  • Lee called for a cease-fire in Gaza soon after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Challenger Bhavini Patel (D) has accused Lee of stoking antisemitism in the heavily Jewish district. Read more.
  • Iran Attack: Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel over the weekend is complicating plans by the Islamic republic’s foreign minister to visit New York for a United Nations session tomorrow. Read more.

JUSTICES talked little about the events of JAN. 6, 2021, during arguments in the first criminal cases related to the mob violence at the Capitol that have come before the Supreme Court. Instead, they focused on technical questions related to the reach of a law used by prosecutors to charge some Jan. 6 defendants and whether its application would chill peaceful protests. Read more.

Attorney SHOMARI FIGURES prevailed in a top-two Alabama runoff in a reconfigured congressional district.

  • There’s no incumbent in the district, which was redrawn under court order to give Black voters a chance to sway election outcomes.
  • Two Black lawmakers have never represented Alabama at the same time. Read more.

VOTERS in the US increasingly cite IMMIGRATION as their chief concern. However, case studies from five continents show that governments worldwide are struggling to find solutions — with some even stoking the problem. Read more.

What Else We’re Watching

Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg
John Podesta, senior adviser to the President for clean energy innovation, during the BNEF summit in New York yesterday.

The US will safeguard its CLEAN-ENERGY investments, even as China builds excess production capacity, White House climate adviser John Podesta said at the BNEF Summit in New York. His comments build on recent warnings from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that Chinese over-investment and excess capacity are distorting the global economy. Read more.

  • Capacity Concerns: The US reiterated to China its concerns over what it sees as industrial overcapacity in the world’s No. 2. economy, prompting Beijing officials to push back. Read more.
  • The US has failed to reach its full decarbonization potential, while spending $303 billion on the energy transition last year — thanks in part to generous tax credits and incentives in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. Read more.

RUSSIA’S arms trade with NORTH KOREA breaches international sanctions and Washington will seek ways to watch for violations after Moscow vetoed a measure to keep alive a monitoring panel, the US ambassador to the UN said. Read more.

A US plan to raise BILLIONS of dollars in additional resources for the WORLD BANK to counter China’s lending to the developing world has stalled less than nine months after Biden made it a centerpiece of his meetings with fellow G-20 leaders last year. Read more.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.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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