Renegade lawmaker tells Tapper he’s lining up GOP help to backstab Johnson on Ukraine aid

A contingent of renegade House Republicans are looking to cut the legs out from under Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) by going around him to force a floor vote on a Ukraine aid bill.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) is the ringleader of the effort to undermine Johnson by using a parliamentary maneuver known as a discharge petition to move an alternative version of the stalled Senate foreign aid bill to a vote under the pretense that it also includes “border security” measures and he gave CNN’s Jake Tapper a progress report.

The former FBI agent and federal prosecutor and his cohort Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) joined Tapper on Tuesday’s edition of “The Lead” where he told the anchor that he has spoken with other GOP lawmakers about joining in on the soft putsch to get Zelenskyy his money while laughably denying he was undercutting Johnson.

(Video: CNN)

“So, Congressman Fitzpatrick. Are there other Republicans that will join you?” Tapper asked Fitzpatrick. “This is, as Congressman Golden was alluding, this is bold of you to do. Brave of you to do. Are there other Republicans that will join you in going around Speaker Johnson to force a vote on funding for Ukraine?”

“There is. In fact, I spoke to several just last night,” the renegade lawmaker answered. “And I wouldn’t necessarily phrase this Jake as going around anybody,” denying that he was backstabbing the Speaker.

“This is just to add a pressure point. You know, the politics are very, very tough, as you are well aware, in the House, there’s a two-vote margin in the House, for Republicans, a two-vote Democrat margin in the Senate, on very, very tough, existential, time-sensitive issues,” added Fitzpatrick, who recently returned from Ukraine.

“We’re not trying to circumvent or end run anyone,” he insisted. “Quite to the contrary. We’re trying to put an additional pressure point on something that has to happen. As you know Jake, I used to live in Ukraine. I was an FBI agent in Kyiv, I just got back from Kyiv a few days ago,” noting his deep ties to the notoriously corrupt country and his talks with its leader.

“So you said that you have talked to Republicans who are willing to sign the discharge petition. Can you name any of them?” Tapper asked, putting him on the spot to name his co-conspirators.

“No, I’d rather not. I’m going to keep our conversations private out of respect for them,” the congressman replied.

“According to the Congressional Research Service: “Discharge is generally the only procedure by which Members can secure consideration of a measure without cooperation from the committee of referral, or the majority party leadership and the Committee on Rules.”

The bill slightly downsizes the payout to Ukraine to $47 billion, shaving $13 billion from the Senate bill and also includes money for Israel as well as the Indio-Pacific along with reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy for one year, which President Joe Biden could do with a stroke of his pen.

During another media appearance, Fitzpatrick shamefully invoked the name of 22-year-old Georgia medical student Laken Riley who was brutally murdered last week by one of the criminal illegal aliens who was allowed into the country as a result of Biden’s policies.

“We lost Laken Riley in the past seven days. And in the past seven days, 200 families had to bury their kids because of fentanyl. So, what our bill does is, it combines border security with this foreign aid, both existential,” Fitzpatrick told CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan. “And we are forcing this bill to the floor to make sure that everybody acts because as President Zelenskyy said, they have weeks and not months to get reinforcements on the frontlines.”

To Johnson’s credit, he has hung tough on the Ukraine giveaway while there are far more pressing issues at home but his own caucus is full of snakes who are about to bite him.

Chris Donaldson

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