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HomeGeneralWhite House Dismisses Speaker Mike Johnson’s Demand for Meeting on Ukraine Border

White House Dismisses Speaker Mike Johnson’s Demand for Meeting on Ukraine Border

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A picture of House Speaker Mike Johnson
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The White House rejected Speaker Mike Johnson’s request for direct talks with President Joe Biden to address issues concerning border security and aid for Ukraine. Johnson insisted on personal negotiations with the president before allowing a House vote on a $95 billion bill for aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The White House countered that Johnson’s stance on immigration and foreign aid has been inconsistent, making a meeting with the president unproductive.

“What is there to negotiate? Really? Truly? What is the one-on-one negotiation about when he’s been presented with exactly what he asked for? So, he’s negotiating with himself. He’s killing bills on his own,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

The standoff clouds the path for passing Ukraine aid through the House. Kyiv is struggling to fend off Russian invaders without fresh supplies of weapons and ammunition from the U.S.

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ALSO READ: Senate Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel, Despite Trump’s Opposition

Johnson stated that Biden should engage in direct negotiations with him regarding alterations to immigration and border policies. These changes have prompted the House GOP to impede war aid for Ukraine.

House Republicans aim to return all migrants to Mexico, allocate funds for a border wall, and limit presidential authority to shield large migrant groups from deportation. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and House Republican leaders turned down a bipartisan Senate border compromise.

This compromise would have made it more challenging for migrants crossing the US-Mexico border to seek asylum. The proposed measures would have permitted the shutdown of border processing as long as current migration levels persist.

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The speaker emphasized that he has conveyed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell his stance on not permitting a vote on the Ukraine aid bill, which the Senate approved on Tuesday with 22 out of 49 Republicans voting in favor.

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“The Republican-led House will not be pressured into passing a foreign aid bill that was opposed by most Republican senators and fails to address our border security concerns,” Johnson informed reporters.

He said he has been asking Biden for a meeting for a month and has not been granted a one-on-one session, and there are “a lot of ideas” in the House GOP conference for what a new border deal could look like.

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In other news, a group of House Democrats is introducing their own proposal for border security and immigration reform. Thus, indicating a growing willingness on the left to engage in discussions on resolving the U.S. migrant crisis.

The New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of nearly 100 lawmakers billed as “center-left,” unveiled a framework calling for increased manpower at the southern border and in immigration courts, as well as more pathways to legal residency and citizenship for workers, “Dreamers,” and others.

The plan includes several measures, such as permanently authorizing a program for international medical students studying in the U.S. to remain in the country legally after completing their degrees.

ALSO READ: Ukraine Reveals Plans to Produce More Than a Million Drones This Year

It also aims to expand legal pathways for migrant farmworkers and introduce a new non-immigrant work visa category for U.S. industries facing personnel shortages. 

Additionally, the proposal includes a legal pathway for individuals who entered the country illegally but have been working and paying taxes for at least five years, contingent upon paying a fine and passing a criminal background check.

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