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How Biden Courted Johnson for Ukraine Aid

State of the Union: President Biden takes a victory lap after coaxing Speaker Johnson into passing more support for the war in Ukraine.

President Biden Attends The Friends Of Ireland Speaker Luncheon On Capitol Hill

President Joe Biden’s administration is taking a victory lap as the president prepares to sign a $95 billion foreign aid package that includes $61 billion for Ukraine.

Specifically, Biden and company are boasting about how they worked over House Speaker Mike Johnson in the six months since the Louisianan started his tenure. “For months, President Joe Biden and his team pressed the case for additional aid both publicly and privately, leaning into courting Johnson,” CNN, one of the administration’s favored outlets, reported. The effort mostly took place, “behind the scenes through White House meetings, phone calls and detailed briefings on the battlefield impacts, administration officials said.”


The courtship started with “a Situation Room briefing one day after Johnson became speaker,” per the CNN report. Johnson was worked over by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young—even Biden himself stopped by the meeting. From then on, Biden administration officials were in regular contact with the Speaker. The aids Steve Ricchetti and Shuwanza Goff ran point together for the administration’s courtship of Johnson and his staff. Sullivan gave Johnson the occasional ring; Biden gave Johnson the occasional invite to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

CNN’s story and others like it should embarrass Republicans. They should embarrass Republican voters, who have put their trust in their elected officials to represent them. They should embarrass Republican lawmakers, who have lost on every major issue this Congress. But most of all, they should embarrass Mike Johnson.