Speaker Johnson Wants Transformative Border Security Laws For Ukraine Funds

By Bill Galluccio

December 6, 2023

Australian PM Albanese Meets With New Speaker Of The House Johnson
Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images News / Getty Images

As funding for Ukraine's war effort against Russia dwindles, House Speaker Mike Johnson told the Biden administration what it must do if Democrats want more money for Ukraine.

In a letter to the White House, Johnson said the House of Representatives would only authorize additional money for Ukraine if Democrats agree to enact "transformative change to our nation's border security laws."

Johnson previously said that he wanted to tie additional funds for Ukraine to a border security package.

"The American people feel very strongly about this, and I do as well. We have things that we can and should do around the world, but we have to take care of our own house first," Johnson said last month. "As long as the border is wide open, we're opening ourselves up for great threats. And again, it's just a matter of principle that if we're going to take care of a border in Ukraine, we need to take care of America's as well. And I think there's bipartisan support for that idea."

The demand came after Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young warned that funding earmarked for Ukraine would run out by the end of the year.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has provided over $100 billion in security assistance for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Senate plans to move forward with a $110.5 billion national security package that would provide money to Ukraine and Israel. While the bill does include money to secure the border, it does not make any changes to current immigration laws.

It is unclear if the bill will pass the Senate. Even if it does, it is unlikely the House will take up the legislation without border security reforms attached to it.

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