Get our newsletters

Fitzpatrick pledges support for Ukraine, Israel while overseas


Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1, returned Thursday from a week-long trip with stops in Ukraine, Israel and the Munich Security Conference. While abroad, he said he met with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The meetings came less than a month after the House Republican leadership failed to move on a Senate-passed bill that contained money for Ukraine and Israel.

They also came in the days after Fitzpatrick, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, introduced the “Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act,” which calls for $48 billion in aid to Ukraine, and $10 billion for Israel.

There’s been no movement on the bill since it was introduced Feb. 15. Members of Congress largely left Washington D.C. on Feb. 16 and are on “District Work Days” until Feb. 28.

In Ukraine, Fitzpatrick’s statement said he pledged to Zalenskyy that he “would do whatever necessary to pass our bipartisan bill providing urgently needed military aid to Ukraine and protecting democracy in the region.”

Fitzpatrick chairs the National Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence. He’s also a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

“I then visited Israel where I received briefings on operations in Gaza, including meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the role of the U.S. in this war,” Fitzpatrick said in his statement.

He added he also attended briefings dealing with Israel’s national security and regional intelligence-related matters.

“Hamas wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth,” read Fitzpatrick’s statement. “Congress has a moral obligation to continue to provide defensive aid to our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East.”

The bipartisan bill is not a lock to win widespread support in a Republican circles. The majority of Senate Republicans voted against a similar $95 billion package of aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan earlier this month. And, in a statement on House Speaker Mike Johnson’s website, the Louisiana Republican criticized the Senate bill for being “silent on the most pressing issue facing our country,” meaning illegal immigration and border security.

“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world,” read Johnson’s statement.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates Wednesday sent a memo obtained by Politico that ripped House Republicans for going on “vacation” without approving funding for Ukraine.

“The damage House Republicans are actively causing to American national security mounts every day that they insist on continuing their two-week vacation,” Bates wrote, as reported by Politico.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.