What House leadership says

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries speaking at a weekly press conference on Wednesday said “The clock is ticking, and we have to get the bipartisan national security bill over the finish line before we leave town next Friday, March 22. It’s reckless to do otherwise.” Jeffries urged GOP leaders to get the foreign aid package that the Senate has already passed ready to be signed by US President Joe Biden by the end of next week. 

Jeffries agreed with the warning Poland’s President Andrzej Duda made in the US Congress this week, that a Russian invasion of a NATO ally would likely accelerate US involvement, putting American troops in harm’s way, the Hill reported.

According to the House Minority Leader, the US “cannot allow Ukraine to be overrun by Russia, because what will happen is that American lives are likely to be on the line — unless we were to believe that if Putin wins in Ukraine, he stops there, when he didn’t stop in Georgia, and he didn’t stop in Crimea.”

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House Speaker Mike Johnson has expressed his general support for providing further aid to Ukraine, but he remains opposed to the $95 billion foreign aid package approved by 70 senators, including 22 Republicans, last month.

Following a meeting with Duda, Johnson told senators that the House will send a Ukraine aid package to the Senate but floated the idea of making it a loan or lend-lease program so US taxpayers would not be shelling out tens of billions of dollars without any expectation of getting a return, according to senators who participated in the discussion.

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What House members say

According to the Hill, several key GOP committee leaders have stressed the need for additional military aid to Kyiv amid Russia's recent advances on the front line.

In particular, a handful of Republicans, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, have launched a discharge petition designed as a “pressure point” to push GOP leaders to bring Ukraine aid to the floor.

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Democrat Jim McGovern has filed a second discharge petition to force a vote on the bipartisan bill. His petition has already got almost 180 signatures, while Fitzpatrick's has 14, according to Jeffries.

“That’s not dueling discharge petitions. It’s a reaffirmation that the only clear path is to put the bipartisan, comprehensive Senate-passed bill on the House floor for an up-or-down vote. And it will pass overwhelmingly with Democrats and Republicans,” Jeffries said.

The date he announced for the passing of aid to Ukraine coincides with the deadline for six bills to fund the government until the end of the 2024 fiscal year.

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