On Tuesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Capitol Hill in an effort to secure additional aid for Ukraine. However, Johnson made it clear that any deal would have to include a border security overhaul. He stated that the House was resolute in its conditions, as they are reflective of the American people's concerns.
Johnson's stance comes as the White House has warned Congress that the $111 billion in supplemental funds allocated to Ukraine will soon run out. This has prompted Zelensky to make another trip to Washington, D.C. to appeal for continued support for Ukraine's military and economy.
Last week, Senate Democrats attempted to advance a $110 billion national security package, which would provide funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as for border security measures. However, the measure failed to clear the 60-vote threshold due to opposition from Republicans. Many Republicans have pushed for the inclusion of reforms such as asylum limits and increased border wall construction in any deal.
When Democrats get serious about border security, the House stands ready to do its work.
Senate Democrats and the White House are ignoring a top priority of the American people. pic.twitter.com/KA5qWB1PYG
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) December 13, 2023
President Joe Biden and other Democrats have expressed a willingness to compromise on border security, but have accused Republicans of being unwilling to negotiate in a bipartisan manner. Negotiations have been ongoing in the Senate, but there has been no breakthrough so far.
Speaker Johnson, who has only been in the position for less than two months, suggested that a deal may not be reached before the end of the year holiday break. In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, he stated, "I don't know what else to do. I'm not going to have everybody sit here through Christmas twiddling their thumbs. They've not sent me anything."
The House has previously passed border legislation this year, which Johnson says reflects the concerns of the American people. He implored the White House and the Senate to do their job and come to a resolution on the issue.
As the deadline for Ukraine's supplemental funds approaches, the fate of a potential deal remains uncertain. It is unclear if a compromise can be reached that satisfies both parties, as Republicans continue to prioritize border security while Democrats push for additional aid for Ukraine. The House may leave for the holiday break without a resolution, leaving the fate of Ukraine's funding in limbo.