Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Mike Johnson wants Biden meeting before action on Ukraine, Israel aid package

By 37ci3 Feb14,2024



WASHINGTON – House Speaker Mike Johnson wants a one-on-one meeting with President Joe Biden before proceeding with an additional aid package. Finance for Ukraine and IsraelA source close to the Louisiana Republican told NBC News.

Johnson and his staff have requested a meeting with Biden several times over the past two months through senior White House officials. January trip The source said it was all the way to the US border in Eagle Pass, Texas.

The most recent request for a meeting with the president came just a week ago, days before the Senate passed a bipartisan review. A $95 billion national security package and House Republicans before impeaching the Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mallorcas.

Johnson’s demands for a meeting with Biden were not necessarily the Senate’s version of additional aid; rather, a common way forward in the legislative package.

The Senate bill includes aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and was passed with the support of 70 senators.

House Majority Leader Steve ScaliseR-La., said Tuesday that Biden “refused” to meet with Johnson.

“Ultimately, the two could come to an agreement that could become law,” Scalise said. “The president still refuses to meet. Therefore, when the president refuses to meet with the speaker, he cannot say that he is serious about Ukraine or the border issue so that they can come to an agreement on this issue.”

A White House official pointed to what the administration described as Johnson’s inconsistencies on the border, saying the speaker should end his negotiations with himself and stop delaying national security needs in the name of politics.

“That body language says, ‘I know I’m in trouble.’ Please bail me out,” said a Democratic source involved in the additional aid package.

Biden Johnson met Less than a month ago, he joined other congressional leaders to negotiate a bipartisan immigration deal that would open up aid to Ukraine. Johnson at that time called the meeting “productive”..

The president also spoke with Johnson last month border security.

Johnson said any aid package would have to be combined with changes in US border policy. However, the bipartisan border security bill was negotiated between the parties spited It was voiced by Senate Republicans this month and roundly criticized by Johnson.

One statement on Monday, Johnson said the Senate “should have gone back to the drawing board to amend the existing bill to include real border security provisions that would help end the ongoing disaster. Instead, the Senate bill on foreign aid is silent on the most urgent problem facing our country.”

Now that the Senate has passed an aid package for Ukraine and Israel that does not include extensive border policy changes Johnson’s options includeetc getting the bill to a floor vote in the House of Representatives, though the scenario looks increasingly unlikely as Republicans grow increasingly skeptical of aid to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Andrew Bates released a memo urging the House to pass the Senate bill.

“Will House Republicans stand with President Biden and senators on both sides of the aisle to support America’s national security? Or will House Republicans side with Vladimir Putin and the Tehran regime in the name of politics?” Bates wrote. “The GOP cannot afford to ignore this bipartisan House choice. It would be devastating to undermine America’s national security by voting against our interests and values.”

Johnson gave an endorsement this month independent account it would have provided aid to Israel, but the measure fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage under the House’s fast-track rule. Many Democrats argued that the legislation was politicized because Senate negotiators at the time agreed to a separate package that included aid to Israel, among other measures.





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By 37ci3

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