16 US House Democrats vote with Republicans to rebuke Biden for holding up aid to Israel

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act would force the administration to send any military aid that Congress has already approved for Israel.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

On Thursday, 16 Democrats in the US House of Representatives voted with their Republican counterparts on a bill to rebuke the Biden Administration for threatening to hold back shipments of military aid to Israel over the Rafah invasion.

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act rebuked President Joe Biden for his threat to withhold aid and would force the administration to send any military aid that Congress has already approved for Israel.

The bill would also hold up funding for the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council if they delayed sending approved aid to Israel.

The bill passed in the House by 224 to 187 votes, with 16 Democrats joining 208 Republicans in support.

House Democrats who voted with Republicans on the bill include Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Darren Soto (D-FL), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D: WA), and Henry Cuellar (D: TX), among others.

Three House Republicans opposed the bill: Warren Davidson (R: OH), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R: GA) and Thomas Massie (R: KY).

Read  US admits cutting shipments of military aid to Israel by 50%

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R: TX) said in support of the bill during a Congressional debate, “President Biden’s decision to withhold weapons approved by myself, the chairman, and the ranking member and appropriated by Congress, defied congressional intent and is tantamount to an arms embargo.”

He added, “Red lines are meant for our enemies. Red lines are not meant for our allies and our friends. But that’s precisely what this administration is doing to Israel.”

Supporters of the bill maintain that it prevents the President from unilaterally restricting aid approved by Congress, while opponents argue that it forces the President’s hand when dealing with foreign affairs.

The bill was proposed resulting from anger of Biden’s threat to withhold planned shipments of weapons to Israel out of a concern they will be used against civilians in Rafah.

However, given that Israel has agreed to targeted operations in Rafah rather than a full invasion, the Biden Administration went forward with $1 billion in military aid, although it held up the shipment of two-thousand-pound bombs to discourage Israeli airstrikes.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D: NY), who called for the Prime Minister of Israel’s ouster in March, said he does not plan to take up the bill and that Biden has threatened to veto it.

Read  Netanyahu accuses Biden of imposing 'dramatic decrease' in weapons transfers to Israel

The White House responded to the vote on the bill, saying, “The bill is a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the Administration’s approach to Israel.”

They added, “The President has been clear: we will always ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” the White House said earlier this week.