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House Speaker Johnson says Ukraine aid, border deal likely to be split

by Rachel Amran February 1, 2024 2:57 AM 2 min read
Speaker of U.S. House Mike Johnson with parliamentary leaders from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in D.C. on Jan. 31, 2024. (Speaker Mike Johnson/Twitter) 
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Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, reportedly told the three leaders of Baltic parliaments that President Biden's national security proposal that combines aid for Ukraine with border policy reform would likely be split up.

The decision, Johnson stated, would ultimately come down to the border language in the bill presented by Senate negotiators.

Speaker Johnson met with parliamentary leaders from the three Baltic states in D.C. on Jan. 31 to reportedly discuss U.S. energy production for the Baltic states as well as deterring threats from China, Iran, and Russia.

The funding request of over $110 billion, including around $61 billion for Ukraine, has been stuck in Congress since autumn 2023. Senate Republicans blocked the approval of the $61  billion in aid last month, largely over concerns the bill did not contain border security measures.

As a way to expedite the passage of aid for Ukraine, intensified border security measures were integrated into the aid deal. House Republicans, including Speaker Johnson, have stated that newly developed provisions are insufficient.

Johnson's other comments on Ukraine indicated that his concerns about the ability for new aid to be passed were not limited to border issues. Many Republicans have said they are categorically opposed to further aid for Ukraine, regardless of compromises on the border and immigration.

Earlier this month,  U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby announced that the U.S. had run out of existing money for aid for Ukraine, and "there's no other magical pot to dip into" unless Congress passes a new funding package.

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