'We have some consensus': Speaker Johnson, Sen. Schumer exit Biden meeting on Ukraine aid with optimism

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had a bipartisan glow about them Wednesday after they and different congressional leaders met with President Joe Biden, the place they mentioned Ukraine aid, border safety, and components of a deadlocked funding package deal.

“We had a productive meeting,” Johnson, R-La., advised reporters minutes after the White House sitdown ended.

“We perceive that every one these items are necessary, however we should insist, we should insist that the border be the highest precedence,” the speaker stated. “I believe we have some consensus round that desk.”

Schumer, D-N.Y., stated the meeting confirmed there was settlement between Democrats and Republicans that extra aid for Ukraine and improved U.S. border safety are obligatory.

“The solely manner we’ll do border and Ukraine, and even both of them, is bipartisan,” Schumer stated. “Any social gathering that claims do it my manner or no manner, we’re not going to get something accomplished.”

The meeting, which lasted over an hour, additionally was attended by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and numerous congressional committee chairmen and rating members.

The collaborative sentiment expressed by Johnson and Schumer might sign hope for Biden’s supplemental aid package deal, which would supply funding to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the U.S. southern border.

McConnell on Wednesday stated a Senate ground vote on the supplemental package deal may very well be held subsequent week, after a months-long stalemate in Congress.

But the bipartisan message may very well be a legal responsibility for Johnson.

He was just lately elected speaker with the important thing assist of hardline House Republicans, who anticipate him to ship on their ultraconservative wish list.

Johnson’s predecessor, former Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted by that clique after and due to his cooperation with Democrats to go a short-term spending measure, which averted a federal authorities shutdown.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, a conservative, has already warned {that a} movement in addition Johnson is “on the desk,” after the speaker introduced a bipartisan deal to approve a federal finances that may spend as much as almost $1.6 trillion for the 2024 fiscal yr.

Meanwhile, Congress is busy this week attempting to go one more short-term spending decision by Friday to stop a authorities shutdown.

Biden initially requested a $105 billion supplemental funding package deal from Congress in October to aid Israel and Ukraine of their respective wars, alongside with securing Taiwan’s protection programs and the U.S. southern border.

In the following months, the invoice has remained at a stalemate in Congress although Biden has tried a number of occasions to show up the stress. Johnson and Biden spoke on the telephone final week about border safety, which has grow to be a major sticking level within the negotiations.

Congressional Republicans demanded extra funding for the southern border and fewer for Ukraine. Democrats have stood by the necessity for sustaining Ukraine aid, arguing {that a} Russian victory would pose broader threats to the state of worldwide democracy.

Biden has used up the final of his govt funding bucket for Ukraine. The final safety help package deal to Ukraine was approved on Dec. 27, in response to National Security Spokesman John Kirby. There is not any extra U.S. cash left for Ukraine till Congress passes the supplemental package deal.

“There’s no magic pot of cash. If we do not get that cash, it is an actual downside. It’s an actual downside for Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Tuesday on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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