Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) hosted a bipartisan candlelight vigil Tuesday night for Israeli victims and hostages taken by Hamas militants Oct. 7.
“This is, as you can see a bipartisan gathering because we know that today is a solemn day. It was one month ago, on this date in the early hours of Oct. 7 that Hamas terrorists waged the bloodiest assault on Israel and Jewish life since the Holocaust,” Johnson said at the vigil.
Johnson reiterated Congress’s support for Israel, vowing to do “all we can to support” the country as it fights its war with Hamas. Johnson also touched on GOP leaders’ meeting with the families of hostages who were taken by Hamas.
“We thank those families for joining us this morning and more they are here today. They’ve shared their stories allowing the American people to understand and have some real insight into what they are facing together there,” Johnson said. “We stand with them in that and we thank this large bipartisan collection of members standing behind us here today for their results to bring an end to this chaos and destruction.”
House GOP leaders highlighted pleas from families of hostages taken by Hamas earlier in a Tuesday press conference. The press conference marked one month since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis and more than 200 were taken hostage.
House Republicans, joined by 12 Democrats, passed a package last week that paired $14.3 billion in aid to Israel with cuts in IRS funding. That package faces a dead end in the Senate, which will likely propose its own aid package.
Jeffries also offered remarks at the vigil, again reiterating his support for Israel and promising to do “everything in our power” to bring the hostages home.
“We gather to unequivocally condemn the acts of terror, honor the memory of those brutally murdered and pray for the safe return of those held hostage,” Jeffries said.
Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) also spoke at the vigil, each condemning the Hamas attacks and the taking of the hostages. The vigil concluded with lawmakers holding a moment of silence for the Israeli victims before Johnson offered a prayer to end the event.