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Biden to host congressional leaders Tuesday for talks on spending, Ukraine funding

President Biden is scheduled to host the four congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday, where the group will discuss funding for Ukraine and efforts to avert a government shutdown.

The White House said Biden will highlight “the urgency of passing the bipartisan national security supplemental and keeping the government open.” Attendees will include Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

Biden has for weeks been pleading with Congress to pass additional funding to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, warning that a failure to do so would be a historic failure that could threaten global and domestic security.

The Senate earlier this month overwhelmingly passed national security funding that included money for Ukraine, Israel and Indo-Pacific allies, but Johnson again signaled the bill would not receive a vote in the House because it lacked desired border provisions. Johnson had previously rejected a proposal that included border security measures.

At the same time, Congress is coming up against a deadline to pass funding bills to avoid a shutdown.

Congress returns to Washington this week facing a pair of looming funding deadlines — March 1 for a handful of agencies and March 8 for the rest — leaving lawmakers with little time to iron out their differences and get bills to the floor to keep the government open.

Biden last hosted congressional leaders at the White House in January, when he was similarly pushing lawmakers to fund Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Johnson said earlier this month he’d been asking for weeks to sit down with Biden, something the White House initially rebuffed before appearing more open to the idea.

Source: The Hill

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