After meeting with Zelensky, Johnson remains firm, no Ukraine aid without enhanced border security

“These are our conditions because these are the conditions of the American people,” Johnson said.

Published: December 12, 2023 2:13pm

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that any aid given to Kyiv must be packaged with security for the U.S. southern border. 

“These are our conditions because these are the conditions of the American people,” Johnson said, according to The Hill. 

Zelensky arrived on Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to try to persuade Congress to continue to provide aid to help Urkaine prevail in Russia's war on the country.

Johnson reportedly had a good meeting with Zelensky, but said afterward House GOP's stance remains the same: funding for Ukraine must come coupled with border security. 

“From the very beginning, when I was handed the gavel, we needed clarity on what we're doing in Ukraine and how we'll have proper oversight of the spending of precious taxpayer dollars, and we needed a transformative change at the border. Thus far we've gotten neither,” the Louisiana Republican said.

Zelensky met first with Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, of Kentucky, reemphasized his support for Ukraine, but also expressed the need for security at the southern U.S. border.

“My support for Ukraine and Israel is rock solid," he said. "I'm committed to preparing the U.S. military to deter and defend against Chinese aggression. I'm determined to get the national security crisis at the southern border under control, and I'm going to work to get it done as long as it takes,” he said.

This is Zelensky's third trip to Washington, D.C., since the war started in February 2022. He is set to meet with Biden this afternoon. 

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