will Trumpist Mike Johnson pay the price? – The Express

will Trumpist Mike Johnson pay the price – The Express

A lot of expectations weighed on a man’s shoulders. Baby face, salt and pepper hair and thick frames on his nose, the head of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, allowed kyiv to breathe a little. On Saturday April 30, new aid of $60.8 billion for Ukraine was adopted by the American chamber. “To put it bluntly: I would rather send ammunition than send our boys to fight,” pleaded the 51-year-old Republican elected official to journalists. However, just a few days ago, the “speaker”, a supporter of a certain budgetary orthodoxy, was very skeptical about these billions sent by the United States, in the face of a conflict which is getting bogged down.

This change of gear undoubtedly took Republican candidate Donald Trump by surprise, who had given him his blessing to chair this parliamentary group, after the surprise dismissal of Kevin McCarthy, in October 2023. Ultra-religious, Mike Johnson appears to be a Trumpist from the first hour. Like his mentor, he positions himself against abortion – the origin, according to him, of “an American holocaust” – and is opposed to various societal advances (gay marriage, LGBT rights, etc.) . On Ukraine, while he had the option or not to block the envelope wanted by Joe Biden, his position was highly scrutinized – and feared. It took several months of procrastination and multiple back and forths from Volodymyr Zelensky to make him fold.

READ ALSO: Ukraine: what will the $61 billion in American aid be used for?

Against all expectations, early Monday April 15 in the evening, this lawyer specializing in constitutional law announced that his chamber would examine an aid plan for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, to which he ultimately gave his full support. A serious setback for the Trumpist camp. A week earlier, Mike Johnson received a vote of confidence from the ex-president, who spoke out against increased support for kyiv. Note that millions of Americans share his opinion, according to which Ukraine would not be the United States’ fight.

Republicans want to impeach him

Faced with resistance from certain Republicans, the “speaker” therefore relied on Democratic votes. Certainly, Mike Johnson made a concession to Donald Trump, who demanded that part of these funds be in the form of a loan – the candidate for the White House believes that the United States should “stop giving money without hope of being reimbursed. But this debt can be erased and the envelope almost corresponds to the funds requested months earlier by President Biden.

READ ALSO: Putin seen by Wladimir Klitschko: “I was far from imagining such a disturbed brain”

The adoption of this envelope risks costing the Republican leader dearly: a handful of conservative elected officials, fiercely anti-aid to Ukraine, have promised to do everything to dismiss the “speaker”. Among them is the Republican congresswoman from Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene. “I’m going to let my colleagues go home and hear their voters,” she responded before comparing Mike Johnson to a “lame duck.” By authorizing this check to Ukraine, Mike Johnson is depriving his political family of a victory. For now, Donald Trump has remained silent, preferring to focus on his ongoing trial in New York.

Some Democrats ready to support him

But a few months before the American elections, some Republicans think that the timing is bad for a new debacle. Others support him, like Marc Molinaro, deputy from New York. He declared to CNN that after speaking with his constituents, “it’s clear to me that there are moments in time when we have to do the right thing, and today we did.” If an impeachment vote were to take place, some elected Democrats have also expressed their willingness to support the “speaker” – essentially rewarding him for standing up to members of his own party. But this political support could be short-lived: it’s hard to imagine how a Republican speaker could reliably count on Democratic support.

READ ALSO: United States: Mike Johnson, the Trumpist who lays down the law on Capitol Hill

Referring to the case of his Republican colleague, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries wanted to be philosophical, assuring that he was facing a situation “where one can be either a Churchill or a Chamberlain”. For its part, the media CNN title: “The accidental speaker becomes an improbable Churchill.” He continued: “Johnson put his own job at risk to defend a democratic nation from an invasion by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and to strengthen American leadership in the West.”

The speaker assured that he saw himself as a “wartime speaker”. In the meantime, Mike Johnson walks the corridors of power quietly, head held high: “I did what I believe to be the right thing here.”