Jeffries open ‘in principle’ to national security-only package if Senate can pass

Jeffries open ‘in principle’ to national security-only package if Senate can pass

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said he’s open “in principle” to a national-security-only aid package if the Senate is able to pass one, while stressing he still wants to review the details.

“We have to move forward in a comprehensive way to address our national security issues,” he said at a weekly press conference Wednesday.

Jeffries added that “several Republicans who are not in leadership” have expressed an openness toward working with House Democrats on “a comprehensive national security package” with funds for Israel, Ukraine and allies in the Indo-Pacific like Taiwan, as well as assistance for Palestinians.

He didn’t name any of the Republicans, but several centrists have expressed being open to some sort of stand-alone aid package. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said Tuesday he was pushing for a Ukraine-only aid package: “There’s a handful of us pushing for military aid. We might not be able to do all the other stuff, but let’s do military aid,” he said.

And Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), another moderate Republican, said Wednesday he was working on a new national security package with Democrats that would include funding for Ukraine and the border, among other priorities.

“It’s going to be my bill and I’m working with a few Democrats on it,” Fitzpatrick said, adding he hadn’t yet spoken with Jeffries about his legislation. “It will be a combination of things that are urgent and need to be addressed right now.”

The comments come as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated he plans to call a Wednesday vote on a national security package without border security provisions — if the vote to advance the broader deal fails, as expected.

Jeffries indicated his preference is to advance what he called “a comprehensive national security legislative package” once the House returns next week.

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