Greg Nash

March 13, 2024

The Hill


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk this week called on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to move a Senate-passed Ukraine funding package that has stalled in the House, warning the “fate of millions of people” hangs in the balance.

Speaking outside the White House after meeting with President Biden and his staff Tuesday, Tusk warned Johnson’s failure to act could cost “thousands of lives” in Ukraine, including those of women and children.

He said he hoped “the voice of Poland will influence and change the attitude of the Speaker of the House. Mr. Johnson, he must be aware, and I hope that he is already aware, that on his individual decision depends the fate of millions of people — in fact on his decision depends thousands [of] lives in Ukraine.”

Tusk recognized the political differences in Congress over funding Ukraine but argued Johnson’s decision would have a global impact.

“This is not some political skirmish that only matters here in America. The absence of this positive decision of Mr. Johnson will really cost thousands of lives there: children, women. He must be aware of his personal responsibility,” the Polish leader said.

Tusk’s remarks were delivered in Polish and later translated in a foreign pool report.

They came after Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Tuesday called on Johnson to bring the Senate-passed foreign aid bill to the House floor.

“I want to encourage the Speaker again to allow a vote. Let the House speak on the supplemental that we sent over to them several weeks ago,” he said, referring to the $95 billion emergency spending package that passed the Senate on Feb. 13.

It received 70 votes, including the support of 22 Republican senators.

Ukrainian forces, hampered by dwindling supplies of weapons and ammunition, have lost territory to Russia in recent weeks, pulling out of the city of Avdiivka last month.

The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will send a $300 million military package to Ukraine to help resupply its forces but it’s a paltry amount compared to the $60 billion for Ukraine that was included in the Senate-passed bill.