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Speaker Johnson requests meeting with Biden before approving aid to Ukraine

Speaker Johnson requests meeting with Biden before approving aid to Ukraine Mike Johnson, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, is seeking a meeting with White House Chief Joe Biden ahead of any actions on the aid package for Ukraine and Israel, according to NBC News.

According to sources, Johnson and his aides have requested a meeting with Biden through senior White House officials several times over the past two months following the Speaker's trip to the U.S. border.

The latest request for a meeting came just over a week ago, a few days before the Senate passed a bipartisan $95 billion national security package.

Johnson's request for a meeting did not necessarily concern the Senate version of additional aid but likely the overall path forward for the legislative project.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader, Republican Steve Scalise, alleges that Biden "refuses" to meet with Johnson.

"Ultimately, the two of them could come to an agreement that can become law. And yet the president refuses to even meet. So the president can’t say he’s serious about Ukraine or the border when he refuses to meet with the speaker so they can come to an agreement on this issue," Scalise said.

According to a White House representative, the Biden administration noted Johnson's inconsistency regarding the border and stated that he "he needed to wrap the negotiations he has having with himself" and stop delaying the needs of U.S. national security in the name of politics.

A month ago, Biden met with Johnson and other congressional leaders to discuss a bipartisan immigration deal that would unlock aid to Ukraine. At that time, the Speaker of the House called the meeting "productive."

U.S. aid to Ukraine

Last year, Biden asked Congress to allocate over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as for the protection of the American border. Republicans refused to support the initiative, demanding tougher border security measures. Thus, aid to Ukraine became dependent on the position of members of the Republican Party.

Recently, the U.S. Senate began considering a bill to aid Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan without money for the border. On February 3, senators approved the bill.

For the bill to become law, it still needs to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden.