What to Know in Washington: Biden to Pressure Scholz on Ukraine

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When Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives at the White House on Friday, the challenge of how to maintain weapons supplies to Ukraine will be high on the agenda.

The German leader may come under pressure from President Joe Biden over the struggle to produce enough ammunition for the front lines and the two leaders are likely to discuss ways to cooperate more on stepping up manufacturing. This will be Scholz’s second visit to the White House since taking office in 2021.

Photo: Kent Nishimura/LA Times via Getty Images
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Joe Biden have a joint press conference in the White House on Feb. 7, 2022.

While the US and Germany already agreed in lockstep to send battle tanks and Patriot missiles to Ukraine earlier this year, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s troops are still waiting on much of that equipment and face a shortage of basic artillery shells.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Thursday told reporters that Biden and Scholz are likely to discuss their recent conversations with Zelenskiy, the upcoming NATO summit and relations with China. A senior administration official said the two leaders would meet in the Oval Office for an hour or so, and that they’d likely have a significant portion of one-on-one time.

Arne Delfs and Michael Nienaber list the main issues to watch.

  • The US will also announce a fresh round of military aid to Ukraine on Friday, Kirby said that the new US package will include “mostly ammunitions and munitions that the Ukrainians will need for the systems they already have.” Read more
  • China and Russia refused to join other Group of 20 nations in a statement in which most members condemned Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, showing divisions remain entrenched on how to end a conflict that has roiled the global economy. Read more

Happening on the Hill


  • The House returns Tuesday.
  • The Senate convenes Monday at 3 p.m.

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Elections, Politics & Probes

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Around the Administration


  • Biden at 11:30 a.m. awards a Medal of Honor to Vietnam War veteran Ret. US Army Col. Paris Davis.
  • Biden is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at 2 p.m. at the White House.
  • At 3:45 p.m., Biden leaves for New Castle, Delaware.
  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a 12:45 p.m. briefing.

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  • Some of the valves on railroad tank cars designed to keep volatile, toxic chemicals from exploding were damaged in the Ohio derailment last month as the train burned, investigators said Thursday. Read more

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  • The Biden administration on Thursday announced export restrictions for dozens of Chinese entities, including server maker Inspur and units of genetics firm BGI, citing activities contrary to US national security and foreign policy interest. Read more

US Troop Expansion Near Taiwan Revives Old Debate in Philippines

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SEC Chief Is Open to Trading-Revamp Tweaks Amid Criticism

US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said he’s open to changing the agency’s proposed overhaul of Wall Street trading rules as market participants vigorously debate and, in some cases, mount opposition to the measures.

Moves to Rein in Drug Spending Weighed by Medicare Advisers

A congressional advisory commission is considering a series of recommendations to help curb Medicare spending for “Part B” drugs that are administered in doctors’ offices and hospital outpatient departments.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katrice Eborn at keborn@bgov.com

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