Schumer faith leaders to reach agreement on Ukraine funding, border after Biden meeting


Washington
CNN

Top Congress leaders emerged from Wednesday's meeting President Joe Biden The White House is hopeful that a deal can be reached with both Senate Majority Leaders on a national security assistance package Chuck Schumer And Speaker of the House Mike Johnson Describes the meeting as “production”.

“We're coming to an agreement with more confidence than ever before,” Schumer told reporters after the meeting, which lasted one hour and 23 minutes.

He cited the “Democratic and Republican agreement” about the need to provide Support for UkraineHe pointed to what he called “an understanding that if we don't come to the aid of Ukraine, the consequences for the United States around the world will not be catastrophic.”

However, the New York Democrat conceded that some in the chamber called for legislation to address the situation on the border before providing more aid to Ukraine.

“There are two people in the chamber who said let's do the border first — we said in the Senate we should do both together,” Schumer said. “The president himself has repeatedly said he's ready to move forward on the border.”

Johnson described the meeting as constructive, but insisted the border “remains important.”

“We had a productive meeting, I think, the leaders of the House and the Senate, the president was very open. I told the president what I've been saying for months, which is that we need a change at the border, a substantial policy change,” the Louisiana Republican told reporters.

Johnson and Schumer declined to take any questions from reporters gathered outside the West Wing of the White House.

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Johnson spoke later Wednesday with CNN's Kaitlan Collins refused to do “The devil is in the details,” he warned, to keep the Senate-passed immigration deal on the House floor.

“I don't know yet what they're going to propose. There's been a lot of rumors about it, but I'm very confident that they're going to come up with something that makes sense that's very close to what we've sent out of the House,” Johnson said as HR 2.

Johnson pointed out to Biden and other lawmakers that House Republicans may not ultimately include the tougher border security package in its entirety or in its exact form. “It's not HR 2 or a bust,” he communicated, said a source familiar with the meeting.

“We're not pushing for a specific name of the law, but we're pushing for the elements to make sense,” Johnson told reporters at the White House following the meeting.

The White House said in a readout that Biden emphasized the “strategic consequences of inaction” on Ukraine. Additional support For the country.

“He was clear: Congress' continued failure to act would endanger America's national security, the NATO alliance and the rest of the free world,” the White House said.

White House sources Said before Biden's warning could reveal possible setbacks on the Ukraine battlefield in its ongoing war against Russia. Without additional US aid. He planned to walk through the impact of U.S. aid on Ukraine's war against Russia over the past two years and warn of the “idle cost” of Russia's continued airstrikes and counterattacks, one of the sources said.

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The president also addressed the crisis at the border, saying “we must act now,” according to the White House.

“He expressed his commitment to reaching a bilateral agreement on border policy and the need for additional resources at the border,” the readout said.

The White House has seen encouraging progress in border talks in recent days, a source said, and hopes to use the meeting to move lawmakers quickly once an agreement is reached on the immigration portion of the supplemental package.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes gave lawmakers specific examples of the potential consequences of not getting more U.S. funding for Ukraine, two White House officials said.

The meeting included classified areas related to Ukraine, an official confirmed. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby both said earlier in the day that Biden's national security team was expected to share classified information about the war.

The White House administration has repeatedly said it has exhausted its presidential drawdown authority funding, and has stressed how important new funding is to Ukraine's continued security.

“Our last security assistance package was approved on December 27,” Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “When we said that at the time, that was the last filling authority we had.”

Hours before the White House meeting, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Biden for not recognizing the flood of migrants along the southern border as a crisis.

“Over the weekend, President Biden again refused to describe the situation on the southern border as a crisis. Apparently, according to the commander, 10,000 border crossings in one day, and the busiest month and year on record at the border, is somehow not a crisis,” he said.

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But McConnell praised bipartisan Senate border security negotiators for “advancing the most important border improvements in nearly 30 years.” They are moving closer to providing serious, lasting solutions to the unprecedented humanitarian and national security disaster unfolding on President Biden's watch.

McConnell did not directly address the White House meeting in his comments on the Senate floor.

In addition, Schumer acknowledged before the meeting that reaching an agreement would be “very complicated,” but that members of both sides “know we have to do something in Ukraine. The eyes of history are on this room.

This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

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