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Hill leaders to meet with Biden to talk security supplemental

Dispute over border policy has stymied efforts to advance a $110.5 billion security supplemental that includes funding for Ukraine, Israel and other national security priorities

House and Senate leaders are scheduled to meet with President Biden at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the security supplemental.
House and Senate leaders are scheduled to meet with President Biden at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the security supplemental. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional leaders and key committee heads are poised to meet with the president at the White House Wednesday to discuss the national security supplemental package that has remained stalled over the lack of agreement on border and immigration policy measures.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed President Joe Biden’s plans to host the meeting during a Tuesday briefing. 

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are expected to attend the meeting.

The top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate and House Appropriations Committees have also been invited, sources familiar with the meeting said.

A bipartisan immigration agreement has eluded lawmakers for months, delaying consideration of a $110.5 billion plan that would direct aid to Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific and other priorities. Senate leaders last week projected optimism on the status of negotiations, saying lawmakers have made progress toward reaching a deal. 

But a final framework has yet to emerge, and House GOP leaders are under heavy pressure from their party’s right flank not to bring a Senate-negotiated deal to the floor in their chamber. Meanwhile, U.S. support for Ukraine has run dry, the Biden administration says.

As of Jan. 4, the Pentagon had authority to move $4.2 billion worth of weapons from U.S. stocks to send to Ukraine under Presidential Drawdown Authority, but funds to replenish those stocks are tapped out, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at the time.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that without new appropriations, the last package of U.S. weapons the Pentagon will send is the $250 million in weapons announced Dec. 27. That included U.S. air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition and anti-tank weapons.

“We meant it when we said at the time that that was the last one for which we had replenishment authority, and there isn’t another one in the works right now,” Kirby said. “And that is why it’s so, so important for us to get that national security supplemental funding for Ukraine, so that we can keep that aid going.”

Aidan Quigley and Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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