Biden willing to meet with House speaker over Ukraine aid

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STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said he is willing to meet with Republican House speaker Mike Johnson to discuss a funding bill for Ukraine.

BIDEN: "Sure I’d be happy to meet with him, if he has anything to say."

Speaking to reporters as he returned to the White House from a weekend in Delaware, Biden added that Republicans are making a big mistake by opposing aid to Ukraine for use in its war to repel Russian invaders.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion aid package in a bipartisan vote.

It includes funds for Ukraine, but Johnson so far has declined even to bring it up for a vote on the floor of the House, which Republicans control by a narrow margin.

Meanwhile, Johnson has been demanding a meeting with Biden.

BIDEN: “The idea that we’re going to let NATO begin to split is totally against the interest of the United States.”

Biden has been sharply critical of his likely election rival Donald Trump and other Republicans for threatening to not defend NATO allies.

He blamed the death of Alexei Navalny on Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.

Biden said he hoped the death of the Russian opposition leader would spur Republicans to support the aid for Ukraine

Congress is not due back in Washington until February 28.