House GOP Has Reached Out to Democrats to Pass Ukraine, Israel Aid Package: Minority Leader

His answer was in response to a reporter asking whether there would be an effort to bring up a national security supplemental through a specific mechanism.

House Republicans have reached out to House Democrats hoping to pass a supplemental bill to provide assistance for Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific, said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) on Feb. 7.

Mr. Jeffries told reporters during his weekly press conference that there have been “several Republicans who are not in leadership” who have reached out to their House colleagues on the other side of the aisle to put together “a comprehensive national security package.”

The package would help Israel amid its conflict with the terrorist group Hamas, Ukraine amid its war with Russia, and the Indo-Pacific amid the Chinese and North Korean threats. It would also provide humanitarian assistance, including to Gaza, which Hamas controls.

Mr. Jeffries’s answer was in response to a reporter asking whether there would be an effort to bring up a national security supplemental through a mechanism that is the discharge petition, which would force a vote on the House floor if a majority of members sign off on it, thereby, going around Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who controls what bills are brought to the floor.

Mr. Jeffries went on to say that despite this, the House GOP has its priorities in the wrong place, for example, seeking to pass a resolution that states that former President Donald Trump did not engage in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, when a group of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the electoral college for Joe Biden.

Mr. Jeffries’s comments come as the Senate is set to fail to proceed to debate on a $118 billion supplemental bill that includes assistance for Israel and Ukraine and measures surrounding the border and immigration.

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The border and immigration aspects have been the main point of contention for congressional Republicans, who insisted on pairing foreign assistance with border security as they called for a tough border bill that passed the House last year to be included in the supplemental even though it has no chance of passing the Senate.

The bill includes $60 billion in funding for Ukraine amid its war with Russia and $14.1 billion for Israel amid its latest conflict with Hamas. It also consists of $20 billion to implement the border security measures.

The bill provides a new emergency authority for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to restrict border crossings if an average of 4,000 daily encounters is hit over a one-week span. If this threshold is reached, then the DHS secretary could shut down the border by denying illegal immigrants the ability to apply for asylum.

But if average encounters reach 5,000 a day over a given week, then the DHS secretary is required to shut down the border. The deal also limits the president’s parole authority, a power that gives the president the ability to allow more illegal immigrants into the country.

The deal raises the legal bar for the initial screening of asylum claims. It would also expedite the asylum processing time from many years to six months.

The package also doesn’t include a restoration of President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, which many Republicans have told The Epoch Times is a must-have.

Mr. Jeffries’s comments also come one day after the House failed to pass a standalone bill to provide Israel with $17.6 billion in assistance. A two-thirds majority was needed to bypass the usual procedure to get bills to and passed on the House floor.

There were 203 Republicans and 46 Democrats who voted for the measure, while there were 166 Democrats and 14 Republicans who voted against it.

Even if it had passed, the measure would have faced an uncertain future in the Democrat-controlled Senate as it was already opposed by President Joe Biden, who said in a Feb. 5 statement that he would veto the bill.

The 18-page piece of legislation included, but was not limited to, $4 billion for the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems and $1.2 billion for the Iron Beam defense system.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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