The Republicans are becoming a security risk for the USA and the West

Ukraine complains about a lack of ammunition, Alexei Navalny dies in Russia. America would now have to quickly send weapons to Kiev in order to weaken Russia. But Mike Johnson, the top Republican in Parliament, is on vacation first.

There was a brief moment of hope at the beginning of this week. The US Senate passed $95 billion in military aid for its allies, including more than $60 billion for Ukraine. It was a bipartisan show of strength, with 22 Republicans voting along with the Democrats. But shortly afterwards, Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House of Representatives and currently the highest-ranking Republican in the country, announced that he would not put the law to a vote in his legislative chamber – a political blockade.

First, the Republicans demanded far-reaching concessions from the Democrats when it came to border protection with Mexico. Negotiations have been taking place across party lines since October. When the compromise was reached, Donald Trump intervened because he didn’t want to give up his favorite election campaign issue. The deal was dead. The Senate now wanted to pass the military aid through Parliament as a solo package, but the House of Representatives is not on board.

The past two weeks underscore that Trump and the Make America Great Again Republicans are becoming a security risk – to the United States itself and its allies. First, Trump encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin that he could attack other NATO states if they did not make their promised contributions to the military alliance. It then became known that Russia was working on a weapons system that would operate from space. And finally the bitter news that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died in custody.

Just ten years ago, in the era before Donald Trump, the Republicans would not have hesitated for long and approved all means to help weaken Russia. Anyone who wants to fight those responsible for Navalny’s death would have to immediately send more money, ammunition and weapons to Ukraine.

Republican lawmakers are loyal to Trump

But the Republicans of 2024 have less and less in common with those from the George W. Bush era. Above all, they want to limit themselves to a systemic battle with China, otherwise the country should stay out of the world’s crises. That’s the thinking, it’s a dangerous one.

The members of the House of Representatives are also loyal to Trump – some out of conviction, others out of fear. Anyone who speaks out against the ex-president and likely renewed Republican presidential candidate risks losing their mandate. This is what happened to Liz Cheney, daughter of former US Vice President Dick Cheney. She supported the parliamentary committee of inquiry on January 6th. The Trumpists subsequently nominated an opposing candidate in Cheney’s constituency. She lost and was out. Members of the House of Representatives must stand for re-election every two years. Anyone who opposes Donald Trump here must fear that their own political career will quickly be over.

The question now is what Mike Johnson plans to do. If he puts the bill up for a vote, there will likely still be many Republicans who want to vote for it. Are they intimidated by Trump or are they following their convictions? If the House of Representatives also votes for military aid, Johnson could lose his job. The right wing of the faction is threatening to vote him out if he gives in. Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, had a similar experience.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives now wants to buy time. He has scheduled a two-week holiday for Parliament. No joke: While Ukrainian soldiers are running out of ammunition and Russia’s main opposition figure is dying, Mike Johnson is refusing to work. In doing so, he makes Donald Trump a friend. And it sacrifices the security interests of the United States and its allies.