Biden Says He’d Be “Happy” To Have Meeting With Mike Johnson

Biden Says He'd Be

( – President Joe Biden said on Monday, February 19 that he would be glad to meet with House Speaker Mike Johnson. He said this at the White House to reporters after staff reportedly turned down requests for such a meeting.

Johnson has been making requests to negotiate legislation related to funds for national security. However, Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told journalists at a briefing last week that the meeting would waste time since they are unlikely to come to an agreement.

She also accused Johnson of sabotaging his own bills and changing his mind frequently. According to The Hill, Johnson told reporters that he has spent a month requesting meetings with Biden to discuss “very serious issues” related to national security and the southern US border.

Johnson said that he would continue to insist on a meeting with the president. He also said that it’s a “problem” if the House speaker is unable to communicate with the president.

He has also echoed Republican demands that any funding for Ukraine must be tied to a bill strengthening border security. A bill with bipartisan support emerged from the Senate in early February, but Johnson called it “dead on arrival.” He claimed it would do nothing to help improve the influx of undocumented immigrants at the border and blamed some Senate Republicans for caving to Democrats.

The bill included funding for Ukraine, Israel, and other Asian nations that totaled nearly $120 billion. It also allocated $20 billion to put toward border efforts, including ending “catch and release” policies and shutting down the border after a certain threshold of migrants has been met in a day.

Despite Jean-Pierre publicly shooting down Johnson’s requests for a meeting, Biden appeared to have a different tune when he spoke to reporters on Monday. He said he would be “happy” to talk with Johnson “if he has anything to say.” According to The New York Post, the last formal meeting between Biden and Johnson took place on January 17.

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