Editors at the Washington Examiner analyze U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson’s “first big win.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) scored his first big legislative victory this past weekend, making good on the first promises he made in leadership that he would find a way to send much-needed aid to our allies Israel and Ukraine.

Contrary to what some are saying, Johnson supported more aid for Ukraine from the start of his speakership. Just two days after securing the job, Johnson told Fox News’s Sean Hannity, “We can’t allow Vladimir Putin to prevail in Ukraine because I don’t believe it would stop there, and it would probably encourage and empower China to perhaps make a move on Taiwan.”

Johnson was right then, and he is right now. His only misstep was agreeing with President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that the best path forward was to link Ukraine aid with border security. Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion had nothing to do with Biden’s catch-and-release border policies in October of last year, and it still has nothing to do with them today. 

Securing our southern border is absolutely a vital national security concern, but there is only so much Republicans can do to solve the problem when they control just one chamber of Congress. It is going to take a strong occupant of the White House with the will and determination needed to force Mexican cooperation to get the border under control again. Biden is not that man, and he never will be. The most Republicans can accomplish on border security is to avoid making the problem worse by bailing out sanctuary cities and codifying Biden’s catch-and-release policies. That is what the Mayorkas-Lankford border bill did, and Johnson was wise to reject it.

While Biden’s failure to secure the border is not connected to Ukraine’s fight against Russia, this is not the case with Israel’s fight against Hamas and our struggle against Chinese aggression.