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Biden calls congressional leaders, urges them to pass aid to allies

President Biden held a phone call with the top four congressional leaders on Sunday and stressed the “urgent need” for the House to pass the national security supplemental, as Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) faces mounting pressure to bring the Senate-passed foreign aid package to the floor for a vote.

The White House released a statement saying Biden, Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) convened “to discuss Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel” on Sunday afternoon.

“On the call, the President discussed the urgent need for the House of Representatives to pass the national security supplemental as soon as possible,” the statement continued.

Schumer confirmed the meeting in a statement, reiterating U.S. support for Israel — in the wake of the Iranian attack over the weekend — and called on Johnson to pass the national security package, which includes aid for both Ukraine and Israel.

“The US commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad,” Schumer said. “We need to help Israel stay strong against Iran.”

“To @SpeakerJohnson—The best way is for the House to pass the bipartisan, Senate-passed national security bill,” Schumer added.

Neither McConnell nor Jeffries immediately responded to a request for comment following the meeting Sunday evening.

They both, however, released statements following the Saturday Iranian strikes on Israel reiterating their support for Israel while calling on the House to pass the national security supplemental.

“Congress must also do its part. The national security supplemental that has waited months for action will provide critical resources to Israel and our own military forces in the region,” McConnell said in his statement Saturday night. “The Commander-in-Chief and the Congress must discharge our fundamental duties without delay. The consequences of failure are clear, devastating, and avoidable.”

“The world is on fire. We should stand with our Democratic allies and push back against the enemies of freedom. The House must pass the bipartisan national security bill. Tomorrow,” Jeffries said Sunday morning on the social platform X.

Biden’s call comes as Johnson faces mounting pressure from some members of his own party, as well as many Democrats, to put the national security package on the floor for a vote.  

In recent weeks, amid heightened concerns about Ukraine’s dwindling munitions supply, Johnson has pledged to hold a vote on some version of a Ukraine aid bill, but he had not specified what that bill would look like. He was trying to find a middle ground, as he faced threats from within his own conference to call for his removal as Speaker.

With Israel now facing serious threats in the region, however, Biden and many lawmakers have doubled down on their calls for the House to pass the Senate-passed foreign aid package.

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