Following Zelensky Meeting, Johnson Stands Strong: No Ukraine Aid Without Strengthened Border Security

After conversing with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasized that any support provided to Kyiv must be linked with enhancing security along the southern U.S. border.

“These are our conditions because these are the conditions of the American people,” Johnson said, as reported by The Hill. 

Zelensky’s visit to Capitol Hill sought to convince Congress to sustain aid for Ukraine in its resistance against Russian aggression.

After the meeting, Johnson acknowledged the constructive dialogue but reiterated the House GOP’s stance: support for Ukraine should be tied to strengthening border security.

“Our first condition on any national security supplemental spending package is about our own national security first,” Mr. Johnson said. “The border is an absolute catastrophe, and this is because of the policies of this White House and this Administration.”

“I have asked the White House since the day that I was handed the gavel as Speaker for clarity. We need a clear articulation of the strategy to allow Ukraine to win, and thus far, their responses have been insufficient and have not provided us the clarity and the detail that we requested over and over since literally 24 hours after I was handed the gavel as Speaker of the House,” he said.

“What the Biden Administration seems to be asking for is billions of additional dollars with no appropriate oversight, no clear strategy to win, and none of the answers that I think the American people are owed,” stated the Louisiana Republican.

Zelensky initiated his Washington visit with a meeting with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Hailing from Kentucky, McConnell reaffirmed his steadfast backing for Ukraine and Israel, emphasizing the need to enhance security measures along 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,” McConnell asserted.

Zelensky’s ongoing visit is his third to Washington, D.C., since the conflict began in February 2022. His agenda involves a planned meeting with President Biden later today.

During his visit, President Zelenskyy secured additional meetings, including one with a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and a separate gathering with House Democrat leaders on Tuesday. House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) expressed disapproval toward Mr. Johnson for not organizing a bipartisan House meeting similar to the Senate’s session.

“We just thank [Mr. Zelenskyy] for coming out, and the courage to come here. Unfortunately, House Republicans didn’t extend that offer to meet like the Senate did—to meet with all members,” Mr. Aguilar said at a Tuesday press conference. “It would have been nice if Speaker Johnson conveyed that, but he didn’t.”