Jeffries says Democrats ‘willing to find common ground’ with Johnson

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) reiterated Sunday that House Democrats are “willing to find common ground” with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on legislation, including ways to keep the government funded past the March 2 deadline.

“My view from the very beginning of this Congress is that, as House Democrats, we are ready, we’re willing, we’re able, to find bipartisan common ground on any issue, at anytime, anyplace, in order to make life better, for the American people, to address issues related to the economy, public safety, national security,” Jeffries said in an interview on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM with host John Catsimatidis that aired Sunday.

“And we should always be willing to do that, and so, Mike Johnson and I speak regularly, try to figure out, ‘Where are those places of commonality?’” he added.

The lawmaker’s comments come as the House and Senate are currently locked in a battle over foreign aid to Ukraine. The Senate passed a national security spending package that features $60 billion dollars in aid for Ukraine last week, but Johnson has pushed back against the bipartisan measure, signaling that he won’t bring it to the House floor because it doesn’t have border security measures included.

“[In] the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said in a statement. “America deserves better than the Senate’s status quo.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) visited Ukraine Friday with a congressional delegation and also pressed Johnson to pass the bill.

The House unveiled their own legislation last week that would combine aid for Ukraine and border provisions that Republicans want. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits two years, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have urged their colleagues to back the bill.

Congress is also dealing with the prospect of another government shutdown. Johnson on Friday said he would move a set of spending bills — as as single package — forward next week, ahead of the deadline, according to sources familiar.

Shutdown drama has divided Congress in the past, but Jeffries noted that while the two parties may not always agree, they should be able to work together professionally.

“We also recognize that there will be times that we may disagree … However, I think we’ve made the decision to agree to disagree without being disagreeable with each other,” he said.

“In Washington, we need less chaos, and more common sense,” Jeffries added.

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