Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said House members can expect “important innovations” in regard to aid for Ukraine when they return from recess.

Moving a Ukraine aid package forward in the House carries risks for Johnson, however, with both his allies and Republican critics saying he could potentially lose the speakership over the issue, according to NBC News. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., noted the likelihood of a vote to oust Johnson over Ukraine aid on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“We have one or two people that are not team players. They’d rather enjoy the limelight, the social media,” said Bacon, who favors some support for Ukraine.

Bacon didn’t name names, but Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has been outspoken among House Republicans in her opposition to sending additional aid to Ukraine.

“Speaker Johnson is planning to give another $60 BILLION to keep the war raging in Ukraine and go against the will of 70% of the American people,” Greene posted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

Ukraine aid ‘innovations’

Johnson said Sunday on “Sunday Night in America With Trey Gowdy” that he’ll move a Ukraine aid package in the coming weeks with “some important innovations,” The Hill reported. Giving a loan to Ukraine, authorizing President Joe Biden to seize Russian assets frozen in the U.S. to give to Ukraine, and “unleashing” American energy were all mentioned.

Ukraine loan: Congressional Republicans have talked about the possibility of giving aid to Ukraine in the form of a loan for a while now. From former President Donald Trump, to Democrats in Congress who don’t love the idea but haven’t ruled it out, there is potential for a consensus on a Ukraine loan, according to Politico.

  • “Even President Trump has talked about the loan concept where we’re … not just giving foreign aid, we’re setting up in a relationship where they can provide it back to us when the time is right,” Johnson said.
  • There was a proposal last month in the House to treat nonmilitary aid as a type of loan, NBC News reported. In this scenario, “economic aid to support the general function of Ukraine’s government and its long-term rebuilding efforts would be subject to a loan.”
  • Russian assets might be used as collateral in a loan to Ukrainians, according to NBC News.

Russian asset seizure: The seizure of Russian financial assets frozen in the U.S. to fund a Ukraine aid package could “set a new precedent for how the U.S. navigates future geopolitical conflicts,” Politico reported.

  • The REPO for Ukrainians Act would authorize President Joe Biden to give the frozen assets to Ukraine to use against Russia, according to The Hill.
  • “The REPO Act, you know — if we can use the seized assets of Russian oligarchs to allow the Ukrainians to fight them, that’s just pure poetry,” Johnson said.
  • The idea isn’t without critics. Politico reported that some lawmakers worry that the frozen assets might be used as a “substitute” for more Ukraine aid, while in Europe, where around $200 billion in frozen Russian assets are, the idea has run into some resistance.

Energy policy: Expanding natural gas exports was also mentioned by Johnson as a way to pass Ukraine aid. Johnson mentioned a move to “unleash American energy, have national gas exports that will un-fund Vladimir Putin’s war effort,” Politico reported. Such a strategy might force Biden to backtrack on recent actions like pausing approvals of new liquefied natural gas export permits, though.

Navigating rough waters

With the Ukraine aid package that passed the Senate in February likely to be a nonstarter in the House, Johnson doesn’t only have to focus on the ideas in an aid package, but also how they’re presented.

From his own prospects as speaker of the House, to the modest Republican majority there, there’s a lot to consider.

“A vote on Ukraine aid in the House could pose a risk to Johnson’s speakership, given the division within the House Republican conference over the topic and the razor-thin majority the party holds,” according to NBC News.

Politico reported that Johnson has been “in touch” with “potential foes” on Ukraine funding like Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla, over concerns that his push for Ukraine funding could lead to a “reckoning” on the right.

Johnson has also exchanged texts with Greene after she recently filed a motion to vacate, according to Fox News.

In his Sunday appearance on “Sunday Night in America,” Johnson said Congressional Republicans “don’t need any dissension right now.”

“This is not an easy job right now,” he said, defending his leadership decisions.