Speaker Johnson Sticks With Border ‘First’ Stance After White House Meeting

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he emphasized border security as the top priority in a White House meeting with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders on Tuesday.

Attendees included Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). While Democrats called the discussion on Ukraine aid “productive,” Johnson signaled border issues needed addressing first.

“We must take care of America’s needs first. When you talk about America’s needs, you have to talk first about our open border,” Johnson told reporters. He said he brought this up repeatedly with Biden.

Biden will visit the Texas border on Thursday, the same day as former President Donald Trump. It’s unclear if he will announce new actions.

Other topics included spending bills ahead of a shutdown deadline, and foreign aid packages under debate. A $95 billion Senate-passed bill faces House opposition so far.

“The House is actively pursuing all options,” Johnson said about aid. He insisted Republicans are working in good faith to fund the government.

The meeting highlighted divisions on priorities. Johnson emphasized border security, while Democrats urged swift Ukraine aid. Further negotiations will be required to find compromises.