Biden announces $200M in additional military aid to Ukraine during Zelenskyy visit to White House

President Biden on Tuesday announced an additional $200 million military aid package to Ukraine to help the war-weary nation in its ongoing fight against Russia.  The announcement came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was visiting the White House and meeting with Congressional leaders to plead for more U.S. aid.  “I just signed another $200 million drawdown for the Department of Defense for Ukraine, and that’ll be coming,” Biden told reporters during an on-camera meeting in the Oval Office with Zelenskyy.  The roughly $200 million in weapons and equipment will be taken from Pentagon stockpiles and include additional ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), high-speed anti-radiation missiles, anti-armor systems, artillery rounds, missiles, demolition munitions, 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition, generators and other equipment and spare parts, one official said. Including that latest package, the U.S. now has about $4.4 billion remaining in weapons it can provide from department stockpiles. JOHNSON DIGS HEELS IN ON BORDER SECURITY AFTER MEETING WITH ZELENSKYY ABOUT UKRAINE AID Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington comes at a grim time for Ukraine. President Joe Biden’s request for an additional $110 billion U.S. aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security needs is at serious risk of collapse in Congress as Republicans are insisting on linking it to strict U.S.-Mexico border security changes that Democrats decry. Zelenskyy met privately with U.S. lawmakers earlier Tuesday, including Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the new Speaker Mike Johnson.  Schumer called it a “very powerful” meeting, but gave no update on stalled negotiations. Johnson insisted after the meeting: “We do want to do the right thing here.” The White House said the time was right for Zelenskyy’s trip to Washington as Biden pushes lawmakers to approve the aid package before the year-end holidays.  A top spokesman said the U.S. can’t let Ukraine aid lapse, especially as the Israel-Hamas war takes attention, and that the president was willing to make compromises with Republicans.
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