WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden invited four of Congress’ top leaders to the White House on Wednesday afternoon to discuss his national security funding request. Aid to Ukraine and Israel as well as border security, according to multiple sources.
Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. some key committee chairs from both parties.
The meeting comes at a critical moment for Washington. Congress must pass a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown before the money runs out Friday night.
Bipartisan Senate negotiators are simultaneously trying to reach a separate deal strengthened border security measures In exchange for additional military aid to Ukraine, Johnson says the supplemental package won’t fly in the lower chamber unless it includes a tough border bill passed by the House, known as HR 2.
The White House meeting was first reported by Punchbowl News. Johnson’s spokesman, Raj Shah, later confirmed that congressional leaders would attend the meeting. Type in X.
Members of the bipartisan Senate task force do not appear to have been invited to the meeting. Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., have been negotiating behind closed doors for several weeks. But some sticking points remain, including GOP efforts to limit humanitarian parole, which allows the president to temporarily admit certain people to the United States.
Wednesday’s White House meeting comes exactly one week after Biden and Johnson spoke on the phone about border security. During that call, the speaker urged the president to use executive authority to protect the southern border with Mexico, the same message Johnson gave to Biden, according to Johnson’s office. December letter.
Republicans defended it, citing record migrant crossings border security will be a key issue of the campaign He is going to the 2024 elections. Johnson and more than 60 House Republicans kicked off the New Year with a visit to the border in Eagle Pass, Texas, where Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorca called on tougher efforts to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country illegally.