Jeffries hints at bipartisan talks skirting House GOP leadership on Ukraine, Israel aid


House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., suggested that Republicans and Democrats are discussing a way to force comprehensive global security aid through Congress behind the backs of House GOP leaders.

“There are several Republicans who are not in leadership, who have reached out to my colleagues on the Democratic side here in the House, to indicate a willingness to work together to advance a comprehensive national security package,” Jeffries said at his weekly press conference on Wednesday.

House Republicans faced two major setbacks on Tuesday night when legislation aimed at impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a standalone bill giving $17.6 billion to Israel both failed along bipartisan lines.

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House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said there are bipartisan talks on skirting GOP leadership protests over Ukraine aid. (Getty Images)

The Israel bill was Speaker Mike Johnson’s bid to undercut negotiations between the Senate and White House on a $118 billion supplemental security package with aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and Gaza and that also included conservative border policy reforms. 

But an avalanche of GOP opposition since the text was released on Sunday has put the deal on “life support,” as Johnson, R-La., put during a Tuesday press conference.

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Jeffries during his own press conference on Wednesday acknowledged reports that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is getting ready to put up a security bill without border policy up for a vote, something several Republican senators have suggested they’d support. 

He said Republican lawmakers in the House have approached Democrats looking for pathways for a similar proposal.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson suffered back-to-back legislative defeats on Tuesday. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

“We’ll see what the Senate does in a few hours. But either way, here in the House of Representatives, the only way forward is for Democrats and Republicans to come together to meet the national security needs of the American people in a bipartisan fashion, and that is exactly what we are committed to do in the next few days,” Jeffries said.

In answer to a question by Fox News Digital, Jeffries said several Republicans have discussed with Democrats a package “that meets the needs of Israel in a time of war, Ukraine who are fighting for their lives in a brave and courageous fashion against brutal Russian aggression, as well as our allies in the Indo Pacific like Japan and South Korea who are dealing with the threat of China and North Korea, and of course provides humanitarian assistance to civilians who are in harm’s way.”

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“There are Republicans, we believe, who have increasingly recognized that the ‘my way or the highway’ approach of MAGA extremists is not working,” Jeffries said.

Meanwhile, House conservatives who opposed Johnson’s Israel aid bill, specifically because it did not offset the $17 billion with spending cuts elsewhere, appear to be working on their own proposal to help the Middle Eastern ally.

Rep. Chip Roy

Rep. Chip Roy suggested to Fox News Digital that conservatives are working on their own standalone Israel aid bill. (Getty Images)

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital there are “ongoing conversations” to shape a conservative Israel aid bill that would pair it with either policy changes or spending cuts.

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“We’re having ongoing conversations about what we need to do to stand with Israel, but do it responsibly,” Roy said. “Which means we’ve got to factor in paying for it, or, and/or dealing with UNRWA and all of the ridiculous things this administration is doing to fund Israel’s enemies…and/or, what can we do about our own border.”



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