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    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    Biden, congressional leaders to meet Tuesday on Ukraine, shutdown funds

    President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room, Jan. 19, 2024, in Washington. Biden will meet with top congressional leaders including House Speaker Mike Johnson at the White House on Tuesday in a bid to unlock billions of dollars in emergency aid to allies including Ukraine and avert a U.S. government shutdown. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

    President Joe Biden will meet with top congressional leaders including House Speaker Mike Johnson at the White House on Tuesday in a bid to unlock billions of dollars in emergency aid to allies including Ukraine and avert a U.S. government shutdown.

    Biden “will discuss the urgency of passing the bipartisan national security supplemental and keeping the government open,” the White House said in a weekly schedule released Sunday.

    Johnson’s office confirmed the speaker plans to attend. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries will also be at the meeting, according to a congressional aide.

    Hard-line Republicans have balked at the more than $60 billion request for U.S. emergency aid to Ukraine, the country’s main lifeline against Russia on the battlefield.

    “We’ve got to get that money out the door,” Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said earlier on Fox News Sunday.

    Sullivan said the administration believes the aid approved in a bipartisan vote in the Senate could be replicated in the House if Johnson were to put it to a vote. But the issue is particularly difficult for Johnson, whose tenuous grasp on the speakership could be at risk if he pushes for Ukraine aid.

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