Biden Pushes Speaker Mike Johnson To Bring Nat’l Security Deal To A Vote

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In a meeting this Tuesday at the White House between President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Congressional leaders from both major parties, the president pushed the prospect of GOP leadership in the House bringing a recently passed Senate deal on foreign aid to a vote. It includes tens of billions of dollars in new security assistance for Ukraine.

Biden “discussed how Ukraine has lost ground on the battlefield in recent weeks and is being forced to ration ammunition and supplies due to Congressional inaction. He underscored the importance of the bipartisan national security supplemental, which passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support and would pass in the House if it was brought to a vote,” per a readout provided by the White House referring to the aid deal.

Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) continues pushing for action on the southern border, though members of his party recently voted down a bipartisan proposal in the Senate that included new powers for the federal government to close the southern border in periods of numerous crossings. Johnson, though, restated his commitment in that area after the White House gathering, in which Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated the pressure on Johnson to get moving on aid to Ukraine also came from fellow legislative leaders.

The GOP-controlled House passed its own border deal that includes a restart to forcing some asylum-seekers to wait outside the United States in potentially dangerous conditions while their cases are processed domestically — a non-starter in an era of divided government when bipartisan cooperation is necessary for action.

Some contend that the U.S. has a strategic interest in seeing a Russian defeat amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, worrisome of the possibility of an emboldened Russian military pursuing action elsewhere, including against North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members. Meanwhile, the urgent need also remains to approve new rounds of funding for the federal government as a whole, ensuring the continuance of basic functions.