House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., indicated he’s not budging from his position on pairing Ukraine aid and border security reforms even after meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.
He also lambasted the White House, accusing the Biden administration of failing to provide a clear strategy on U.S. involvement with Ukraine.
‘I have asked the White House since the day that I was handed the gavel as speaker for clarity. We need a clear articulation of the strategy to allow Ukraine to win. And thus far their responses have been insufficient,’ Johnson told reporters after the meeting.
‘What the Biden administration seems to be asking for is billions of additional dollars with no appropriate oversight or clear strategy to win, and none of the answers that I think the American people are owed.’
He added, ‘I have also been very clear from day one, that our first condition on any national security supplemental spending package is about our own national security first.’
Zelenskyy is in Washington, D.C., to persuade U.S. lawmakers to approve more aid for Ukraine’s war against Russia’s invasion, which has lasted nearly two years.
President Biden has requested about $61 billion for Kyiv’s war effort, but getting it through Congress has proved an uphill battle with Republicans increasingly skeptical of the continued aid to Ukraine.
Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have both made clear that Biden would have to compromise on border and asylum policies to get enough GOP support for his request to pass.
‘In the last three months – October, November, December alone – we’ve had more illegal crossings at the border than in any entire year of the Obama administration. The American people see this. They feel it acutely,’ Johnson said Tuesday.
The White House has warned that Ukraine would soon lose the ability to fend off Russia on the battlefield if the U.S. did not replenish its flow of aid quickly.