Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Hooray for Speaker Mike Johnson and His Bid to Get UKR Aid at Last; Promises Vote on UKR Aid After Easter Recess; UKR Drones HIT Major Oil Refinery and RU's Shahed Drone Factory in its Deepest Strikes Yet Inside RU; 62 Combat Clashes; RU Loses: 780 Sold, 12 Tanks, 30 Art-Sys, 29 Arm-Veh; 9 Drones Downed, LIVE UPDATES and LOTS MORE

REUTERS/Leah Millis
Hooray for Speaker Mike Johnson and his bid to get Ukraine aid at last:
Three hearty cheers for Speaker Mike Johnson for vowing to bring a vote on military assistance for Ukraine when the House returns on April 9, despite resistance from misguided Republicans.
Johnson says he’ll push for further aid for the besieged US ally, which is now extremely low on ammo and risks major setbacks in its war to repel Russia.
Johnson floated some new ways to fund such aid, including by using the seized assets of Russian oligarchs and via loans Ukraine would repay “when the time is right.”
Both those ideas sound perfectly fine, as does direct aid.
Remember, most funding for Ukraine, in any form, goes to American companies that replenish US military stocks sent to Kyiv.
More important, Ukraine, a key ally, is desperate for weapons and supplies, and it’s proven it can use them successfully to resist Moscow’s advances.
Preventing Russia from gobbling up Ukraine is absolutely vital, lest Vladimir Putin be emboldened and trigger an even broader war — doubtless, involving the United States.
That’s why an overwhelming majority of Americans (60%, per an Associated Press-NORC poll last month) believe Washington has been sending Ukraine “about the right amount” of aid, or even “too little,” for its war effort.
Yet among Republicans (once upon a time, known for championing national security), some are simply blind to the threat. --->READ MORE HERE
Speaker Johnson promises vote on Ukraine aid after Easter recess:
House Speaker Mike Johnson promised to be an “ambassador of hope” on Easter Sunday by moving forward with a vote on military aid for Ukraine, even as he faces a rebellion led by far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for passing a government funding bill before the holiday recess.
Johnson (R-La.) affirmed he would push to provide further assistance to Kyiv’s war effort against Russia when Congress returns on April 9, while floating “some important innovations” for the source of the funding during an Easter Sunday interview with Fox News.
“If we could use the seized assets of Russian oligarchs to allow the Ukrainians to fight them, that’s just pure poetry,” the House speaker said on “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.”
“Even President Trump has talked about the loan concept,” added Johnson, 52. “We’re not just giving foreign aid — we’re setting it up in a relationship where they can provide it back to us when the time is right.”
“​​And then, you know, we want to unleash American energy,” he also said. “We want to have natural gas exports that will help unfund [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s war effort there.”
Johnson has repeatedly opposed Russia’s war of aggression and voiced support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — but has withheld $60 billion in no-strings-attached funding for Ukraine from a House floor vote since February.
In November, he floated to The Post the idea of seizing $300 billion in Russian assets, which had been earlier written into a bill by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), known as the REPO for Ukrainians Act.
The Senate in mid-February passed a $95 billion funding bill with the $60 billion provision for Ukraine — along with aid for Israel and Taiwan — which former President Donald Trump attacked for not being provided in the form of a loan.
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Ukraine aims drones at an oil refinery and a drone factory in its deepest strike yet inside Russia+++++

+++++Ukraine’s General Staff: 62 combat clashes on battlefield+++++

+++++Russia loses 780 soldiers, 12 tanks, 30 artillery systems, 29 armored vehicles - Ukraine's General Staff+++++

+++++Ukrainian forces down nine out of ten Shahed drones overnight+++++

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