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Johnson meets Biden at White House ahead of Israel, Ukraine funding request meeting

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Thursday met President Biden at the White House, ahead of a meeting to begin talks on the president’s national security funding request for aid to Israel and Ukraine.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries also attended the meeting, which comes a day after Johnson secured the gavel and just weeks ahead of a government funding deadline.

“Upon the Speaker’s election, we invited him today — it’s actually happening right now — to a bipartisan briefing with leadership and relevant committee chairs and ranking members … on the president’s supplemental national security, obviously, package,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters before the meeting was announced.

“The Speaker is here and he did join that briefing,” she added. Her comments came ahead of a White House official announcing Johnson met with Biden and Jeffries. 

Johnson on Wednesday won the Speakership, filling a nearly three-week-long vacancy in the House that paralyzed official business. No bills have been able to move through or pass the chamber since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted Oct. 4.


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Johnson’s attendance came one day after he won the Speakership, filling a nearly three-week-long vacancy in the House that paralyzed official business. No bills have been able to move through or pass the chamber since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted Oct. 4.

Days later, a war broke out between Israel and Hamas, with the U.S. promising Israel additional aid for military and humanitarian assistance.

Biden announced last week that he would ask Congress to pass a roughly $100 billion emergency funding request that seeks $61 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel’s defense. Additionally, nearly $14 billion of that request is for personnel and operations at the U.S.-Mexico border, $10 billion for humanitarian aid and $2 billion for Indo-Pacific security assistance.

Up until Johnson’s election, the request was unable to advance in Congress due to the lack of a Speaker.

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