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House speaker describes “intense” meeting with Biden, Senate leadership over Ukraine

House Speaker Mike Johnson, Vice President Kamala Harris, and President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci

House speaker describes “intense” meeting with Biden, Senate leadership over Ukraine

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Tuesday told reporters outside the White House that he had a couple of “frank and honest” meetings with President Joe Biden and other leaders. He said that Republicans’ first priority was addressing the “catastrophe” at The United States’ Southern border. Regarding the $95.3 billion foreign aid package the Senate recently passed granting aid to Ukraine and Israel, Johnson said the House would “address that in a timely manner.” He said Republicans are working “quite literally around the clock” to work out a deal to fund the government: “We will get the government funded.”

What did Congressional Democrats have to say about the meetings? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the meeting on aid for Ukraine was “one of the most intense I have ever encountered in my many meetings in the Oval Office.” He said that he emphasized the need to provide aid to Ukraine, saying if the aid didn’t come in the next few months, Ukraine ran the risk of losing its war against Russia.

What about the president? The White House released a statement saying that Biden had “made clear” that a shutdown was unacceptable and that the only way to keep the government funded was with bipartisan legislation. He also said that Ukrainian soldiers were rationing ammunition and supplies due to conditions on the front lines and urged the House to pass the Senate’s bill seeking to aid Ukraine and Israel.

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in The Stew about why House Republicans have resisted pressure thus far to aid Ukraine further.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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