Mike Johnson Defies GOP to Heed Evangelical Pleas for Ukraine Aid

After lobbying from fellow Southern Baptists and Christians affected by the war, the House speaker moves a package forward.

When deciding whether to protect his place in leadership as House speaker or go against his party to do what he believed was right, Mike Johnson turned to prayer.

It had been weeks of hearing intelligence briefings and pleas from fellow Christians when Johnson ultimately sided with his convictions rather than conceding to the Republican Party’s isolationist wing. He backed a $95 billion foreign aid package that, despite the opposition of 112 GOP legislators, overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last weekend.

Like many of his fellow Republicans, Johnson had initially opposed further aid to Ukraine, voting against it prior to becoming speaker and waiting months to move forward with an aid package after the Senate approved its version in February.

He “went through a transformation,” according to one GOP colleague, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul. The shift may have come in part due to the influence of Ukrainian evangelicals, fellow Christian leaders, and his personal faith.

“He got down on his knees, and he prayed for guidance and said, ‘Look, tell me. What is the right thing to do here?’” the Texas congressman told NOTUS’s Haley Byrd Wilt. The next day, Johnson said to McCaul, “I want to be on the right side of history.”

The House vote on the Ukraine provisions, around $61 billion, was 311 to 112; a majority of Johnson’s colleagues voted against the measure, while aid to Israel and Taiwan had broader support. The Senate cleared the package Tuesday in a bipartisan 79–18 vote. Now the measure heads to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Ukrainian leadership had grown more vocal about depleted weapons …

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Title: Mike Johnson Defies GOP to Heed Evangelical Pleas for Ukraine Aid
URL: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2024/april/mike-johnson-ukraine-taiwan-israel-donald-trump-house-repub.html
Source: Christianity Today Magazine
Source URL: http://ChristianityToday.com/
Date: April 24, 2024 at 11:03PM
Feedly Board(s): Religion