Speaker Johnson Holds Firm After Meeting Zelensky: No Ukraine Aid Without Border Reforms
US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, speaks to members of the media after meeting Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine's president, not pictured, in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) refused to budge on his demand for a border security overhaul in exchange for more aid to Ukraine after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Johnson told reporters that “transformative” reforms to tackle the border crisis, in addition to more clarity and oversight on money given to Ukraine for its defensive fight against Russia, remain the GOP-led House’s conditions for a deal.

“These are our conditions because these are the conditions of the American people. And we are resolute on that. It is not the House’s issue right now,” Johnson said, alluding to how the House passed border legislation earlier this year. “The issue is with the White House and the Senate, and I implore them to do their job because the time is urgent and we do want to do the right thing here.”

The White House recently warned Congress that the $111 billion in supplemental funds previously allocated to Ukraine would soon run out, and Zelensky made another trip to Washington, D.C., this week to make the case for the “significance of sustaining vital U.S. support” for his country’s military and economy.


Senate Democrats tried to advance a $110 billion national security package, which would provide money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and even for bolstering border security, but it failed to clear a 60-vote threshold last week in the face of opposition from Republicans, many of whom have pressed for the inclusion of reforms such as asylum limits and ramping border wall construction back up.

President Joe Biden and other Democrats say they are open to a border security compromise, but claim Republicans are unwilling to make a “bipartisan” deal. Negotiations have been going on in the Senate — though there has yet to be a breakthrough so far.

Johnson, who is less than two months into his tenure as speaker, suggested on Tuesday that the House may leave D.C. for the end-of-the-year holiday break without a deal.

“I don’t know what else to do,” Johnson told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I’m not going to have everybody sit here through Christmas twiddling their thumbs. They’ve not sent me anything.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Speaker Johnson Holds Firm After Meeting Zelensky: No Ukraine Aid Without Border Reforms