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Press Release


Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries spoke on the House Floor against pro-Putin extremists who have obstructed our national security and in support of the urgent bipartisan national security package to stand with our allies and protect the American people.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the legislative package that is before the Congress. For months, the national security priorities of the American people have been obstructed by pro-Putin extremists determined to let Russia win. A bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans has risen up to work together and ensure that we are getting the national security legislation important to the American people over the finish line. House Democrats have risen to the occasion. President Joe Biden has risen to the occasion. Traditional conservatives led by Speaker Mike Johnson have risen to the occasion.

We have a responsibility, not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans, to do what is necessary to defend democracy wherever it is at risk in the best interest of the free world. That is what this legislation represents. We have a responsibility to push back against tyranny. We have a responsibility to push back against totalitarianism. We have a responsibility to push back against terror. And we have a responsibility to stand with our democratic allies throughout the world. Israel is a democratic ally. Ukraine is a democratic ally. South Korea is a democratic ally. Taiwan is a democratic ally. Japan is a democratic ally. We have a responsibility to stand with our democratic allies throughout the world. We also have a responsibility to push back against our adversaries. Russia is not our friend. The Chinese Communist Party is not our friend. Iran is not our friend.

We have a special relationship that exists between the United States and Israel. It’s a relationship that is anchored in shared values and shared interests. Our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and safe haven for the Jewish people, who have faced centuries of persecution throughout the years. The events of October 7 make clear that Hamas must be decisively defeated for the good of Israel, for the good of the Palestinian people, for the good of peace in the Middle East, for the good of the free world. Hamas must be decisively defeated. At the same time, there are other urgent priorities. We must do everything possible to make sure that we are freeing the hostages so they can safely return to their families and do everything possible to surge humanitarian assistance into Gaza so we can help out Palestinian civilians who are in harm’s way through no fault of their own. We must surge in food, surge in medicine, surge in humanitarian assistance. That is what this package will help accomplish with more than $9 billion in humanitarian assistance. The events of October 7 and the suffering of Palestinian civilians in a theater of war a heartbreaking. 

Any person of goodwill should come to the conclusion that we have to find a way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. And the only way for that to happen is for us to truly commit to a two-state solution when the moment presents itself with a safe and secure Israel living side by side in peace and prosperity with a demilitarized Palestinian state that provides dignity and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Let us recommit to accomplishing that objective. The humanitarian assistance in this legislative package will also allow the United States to be there to support people who are suffering all across the world, including millions in Haiti and millions in the Sudan dealing with famine and starvation in a war-torn environment. This legislation, of course, will allow us to stand with our allies in the Indo-Pacific in the face of continued aggression from the Chinese Communist Party to make sure that freedom and democracy and these values all across the world will continue to be triumphant.

This legislation will allow us to support the bravery and the courage of the Ukrainian people, who, against all odds, continue to stand for what we as Americans believe in. In February of 2022, we were told that Ukraine would likely fall in a week and that Russian troops would be in Kiev in a week. But the bravery, the courage, the resilience of the Ukrainian people in the face of the most powerful military in Europe has proven to be consequential in partnership with American support and that of our NATO allies. But the Ukrainian people have taught us something, that in the face of an incredible military apparatus that they were confronting, against all odds, that when a people believe in freedom or liberty or democracy, that can overcome even the mightiest of militaries. And so we’ve seen them, despite the prediction that they would fall in a week, inflict more than 300,000 casualties on the Russian military, significant portions of the Russian navy wiped out in the Black Sea, more than half the territory that had initially been seized by the Russian military recaptured by Ukraine against all odds. But the pro-Putin obstruction that has stopped this national security legislation from advancing to the floor until this point risks all of the progress that has been made, which is why it’s so essential for us to do what is necessary to stand with the Ukrainian people.

Let me close with this observation that this is a moment to choose. This is a moment to choose. We can choose democracy or autocracy. We can choose freedom or tyranny. We can choose truth or propaganda. We can choose Ukraine or Russia. We can choose Zelenskyy or Putin. We can choose a democratic ally or a sworn enemy. This is a time to choose. The American people have always stood on the side of democracy and freedom and truth, which is why we must stand on the side of the Ukrainian people. We will stand with the Ukrainian people today. We will stand with the Ukrainian people tomorrow. We will stand with the Ukrainian people until victory is won.