House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) held his inaugural White House meeting with President Joe Biden following a bipartisan briefing concerning increased funding for national security. Mr. Johnson characterized the encounter as "productive" and relished his interaction with the president.
The meeting was arranged after an invitation extended to Mr. Johnson by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to join a bipartisan briefing alongside leadership and relevant committee chairs and ranking members. This meeting marked Mr. Johnson's first official duty as House speaker, a role he assumed following the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the position.
President Biden extended his congratulations to Mr. Johnson on his election and affirmed his commitment to collaborating with the new speaker in good faith. Despite policy disparities, the president underscored the significance of discovering common ground and working collectively on vital concerns.
Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson met with President Biden on Thursday as he attended a bipartisan briefing on the administration's request to Congress for additional funding on national security. https://t.co/VeKwnZx5oW
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 26, 2023
Held in the Situation Room, the meeting included a prior session between President Biden and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) before the briefing. The briefing was led by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and White House Legislative Affairs Director Shuwanza Goff.
The central focus of the briefing was President Biden's supplementary national security funding proposal presented to Congress. This proposal encompassed requests for additional domestic funding, aid for Ukraine and Israel, and funding for an array of national security matters. It is worth noting that Mr. Johnson has expressed reservations about allocating further funds to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
In addition to his meeting with President Biden, Mr. Johnson also met with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Mr. McConnell lauded his meeting with Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Albanese described their meeting as "very good." Elected officials now face the imperative task of collaborating to pass critical spending bills before the crucial November 17 deadline to avert a potential government shutdown. Meanwhile, Republicans are keen to resume their inquiry into President Biden's son Hunter's business dealings.