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Biden invites congressional leaders to White House to discuss Ukraine aid, spending priorities

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 16, 2024 10:54 PM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden gives a speech on Jan. 5, 2024. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden has summoned congressional leaders to the White House on Jan. 17 to try and break the deadlock over aid for Ukraine and other spending priorities, Politico reported on Jan. 16, citing sources.

The U.S. has been stuck in internal battles over spending for months, stretching as far back as the ousting of previous Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in October 2023.

Senate Republicans blocked the approval of $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine in December, largely over concerns the bill did not contain controversial border security measures.

Top congressional leaders are expected to attend the Jan. 17 meeting, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Biden and some Democrats have signaled they are willing to make some concessions on border issues, but other measures that Republicans are pushing for will likely be non-starters, as they are highly unpopular with the Democratic electorate.

The Republican majority in Congress has dwindled to just seven seats after Congressman George Santos's expulsion and McCarthy's resignation in December. Some Republican members of Congress have said they will not support new aid for Ukraine under any circumstances.

Second phase of Ukraine’s land reform underway, critics say law will hurt small farmers
Ukrainian businesses can now legally buy land in Ukraine as of Jan. 1 as part of the second phase of a historic decision in March 2020 to lift a near 20-year moratorium on the sale of land. The land market officially opened in July 2021, but until now, only allowed
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