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President Biden to Hold White House Meeting with Congressional Leaders on Urgent Aid and Government Funding

Biden summons congressional leaders to the White House

President Biden is set to convene the top four congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday, aiming to urge lawmakers to pass an emergency aid package for Ukraine and Israel while also avoiding a potential government shutdown next month, as per a White House official.

The quartet of leaders comprises House Speaker Mike Johnson from Louisiana, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries from New York, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

During the meeting, the President will emphasize the “urgency” of passing the bipartisan-supported aid package and legislation to ensure federal government operations until the end of September, according to the White House official, who spoke anonymously.

There’s mounting pressure on the Republican-led House to approve the $95 billion national security package, which includes increased aid for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific. Although the Senate passed this legislation with a 70-29 vote earlier this month, Speaker Johnson has been hesitant to bring it to a vote in the House.


Biden (Credits: The Wall Street Journal)

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan underscored the need for weapons and ammunition for Ukrainians to defend against Russian forces, mentioning that Speaker Johnson has expressed interest in securing funding for Ukraine.

Apart from the national security package, the first round of government funding is set to expire on Friday, with the remainder of the federal government, including vital agencies like the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and State Department, expiring on March 8.

In a letter to his colleagues sent on Sunday, Senator Schumer noted the lack of agreement to prevent a partial shutdown of agencies whose funding expires this week. He urged Speaker Johnson to prioritize funding to keep the government operational, calling on him to “buck the extremists in his caucus and do the right thing.”

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