US House Speaker Prioritizes Border Reform Over Ukraine Aid

Source: ThoughtCo

The US House speaker spoke Tuesday about prioritizing reform at the US border over further aid for Ukraine. Speaker Mike Johnson met privately with President Joe Biden Tuesday to discuss funding and averting a government shutdown. Democrats and Republicans have been very split on funding decisions. The latter looking to cut funding to Ukraine during its war with Russia. Speaking to reporters, Johnson says that lawmakers are “actively pursuing” options on a multi-billion spending package including Ukraine aid. However, he would add, “The first priority of the country is our border.”

With no deal being reached, the countdown to a government shutdown continues once again. Furthermore, the new House Speaker is avid on preventing this shutdown, but on Republicans’ terms. Funding will run out for some agencies this Saturday. However, the lines have been drawn on certain funding decisions, and most of them do not intersect well. Hence, the House Speaker must continue his efforts to lead a deal to avert the shutdown.

House Speaker Johnson Deadset on Ending Ukraine Funding: Full Focus on US Border

Senate Leader Chuck Schumer also echoed Johnson’s optimism that a deal will be reached in the coming days. However, time is ticking. In a statement from the White House regarding the meeting, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reinforced their point on continuing funding for Ukraine. “Ukraine has lost ground on the battlefield in recent weeks and is being forced to ration ammunition and supplies due to Congressional inaction,” the readout says.

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In regards to House Speaker Johnson’s thoughts on Ukraine or the border during the meeting, Schumer says that Johnson appeared to be the only person in the room against funding. Schumer said it was “one of the most intense I’ve ever encountered” during his history of Oval Office meetings, and said that everyone was pushing Johnson one way, but he has yet to budge.