President Biden’s funding request, which includes multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine, has been held up by Republicans since early December due to the hard line of the House Freedom Caucus who are demanding a new crackdown on US borders in exchange for their votes.
NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby confirmed on Tuesday that the President has invited Congressional Democratic and Republican leaders to a meeting at the White House on Wednesday to discuss his funding requests and the legislative processes necessary to secure aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and to address complex security measures on the border with Mexico.
“Tomorrow, President Biden will host congressional leaders from the Senate and the House, along with key committee leaders and ranking members at the White House to discuss the critical importance of his national security supplemental request” Kirby said.
According to the media, Democratic leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer, Republican Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell, Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Democratic leader of the House Hakeem Jeffries are among those who will attend the proposed meeting.
According to the White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, negotiations to reach a bipartisan agreement on the border, which has delayed the adoption of the legislation needed to provide $60 billion in funds to support Ukraine, are “on the right track.”
“Supplemental requests continue to be a top priority, including - to secure our border, including - to help Ukraine defend itself against Putin’s tyranny…
“And I will say that while the President is having this really important meeting tomorrow, negotiations on a bipartisan agreement on the border - as it includes funding and policy - are still ongoing. We believe it is headed in the right direction, the right track.
‘We’re going to continue to say Congress should act. They should act quickly. You know, this is about securing our border. This is about our national security. And the consequences of congressional inaction would be severe.” Jean-Pierre added.
Last Sunday, Democratic and Republican leaders in the US Congress unveiled a short-term spending bill that would avert a shutdown by extending the funding of some of the government's programs until March.
Meanwhile, debates between the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are still ongoing over the spending legislation that should have been passed before the start of the government's fiscal year on Oct. 1. The House Freedom Caucus insists that any spending bills must also clamp down on control over the US - Mexico border.
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