Clyburn gives GOP a new nickname: ‘Groupies of Putin’

House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) went after Republicans Saturday, branding the GOP with a new nickname: “Groupies of Putin.”

Clyburn, who announced he would step down from leadership in 2024, argued Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and his other GOP colleagues have only been doing the business of Russian President Vladimir Putin “at the behest of the former president.”

“I think the American people are beginning to see that Johnson is a part of what I call ‘Groupies of Putin,’” Clyburn said Saturday on MSNBC’s “The Weekend.” “That’s what GOP stands for now, ‘Groupies of Putin.”

“The American people will see through that,” he added. “And we Democrats are going to do what we can to make sure that it’s front and center.”

His comments come as Johnson has refused to bring a Senate-passed foreign aid bill to the House floor that would provide an additional $60 billion to Ukraine, as it hits two years since Russia launched its full-blown invasion. House Republicans have argued that any foreign aid spending bill must be paired with funds to secure the U.S.-Mexico border — an argument former President Trump has openly supported.

“[In] the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said in a statement. “America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”

Senate Republicans blocked the first attempt at a bipartisan package, that included foreign aid and border security provisions, earlier this month. This prompted Senate Democrats to unveil the separate funding bill that would provide assistance to Ukraine and Israel, in its war against Palestinian militant group Hamas, which currently sits in limbo.

Another bipartisan effort was made in the House last week, but the bill has yet to be moved.

During a visit to Ukraine this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a new plea to the Speaker to take action, as tensions between the U.S. and Russia have heat up — most notably in the wake of the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

President Biden cast blame on Putin for Navalny’s passing and announced over 500 new sanctions aimed at Russia Friday.

“If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going,” Biden said in a statement.

The House is also contending with another potential government shutdown on March 2, if a budget isn’t passed. Clyburn said he doesn’t expect a government shutdown, but said pressure is on Johnson to accept a plan that has support from both sides.

“I cannot get into the head of our Speaker,” he said.

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