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House GOP Pushes For Bill To Force Biden To Continue Arms Transfers To Israel – KVNU

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Fallout continues on Capitol Hill over President Joe Biden’s pause on bomb shipments to Israel and his warning that the US will not supply weapons that could be used in an invasion of the southern city of Rafah Gaza where more than a million civilians have searched. hideout.

The House of Representatives plans to vote this week on a Republican-led bill that would force the Biden administration to continue transferring certain weapons to Israel and condemn Biden’s decision to ban a number of American-made heavy weapons to withhold bombs against Israel.

The measure, titled the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, calls for the “expeditious delivery” of defense items and services to Israel and would withhold funding for certain government officials, such as the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, until such items are delivered. Delivered.

The legislation also affirms Israel’s right to self-defense and calls on the Biden administration to “expedite” all previously approved arms transfers to Israel.

PHOTO: In this April 12, 2024 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in Washington, DC

In this April 12, 2024, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in Washington, DC

Alex Brandon/AP, FILE

The measure was introduced by Republican Reps. Ken Calvert of California, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and David Joyce of Ohio.

“Unlike the administration, House Appropriators will not waver in our rock-solid support for Israel,” the group of co-sponsors said in a statement. “The House and Senate acted on the will of the people and overwhelmingly provided Israel with the firepower to send a message: the US and our allies will not cower before terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., also took aim at the administration, saying it is “not President Biden’s job to dictate to Israel how to defend their right to exist and use violence against their people.” scare.”

“Republicans in the House of Representatives unequivocally stand with Israel in its war against terrorists and those who threaten its freedom,” Scalise said.

The House is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday or Thursday.

While it will likely receive overwhelming support among Republicans, the bill will force a difficult vote for Democrats — and clearly highlight the divisions over where the party stands on Israel.

The measure could draw Democratic support, especially from the 26 lawmakers who wrote a letter to the White House last week expressing concern about Biden’s decision to stop sending bombs to Israel over fears of civilian casualties in the case of a large-scale invasion in Rafah.

PHOTO: Israeli military vehicles are seen near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in southern Israel, May 8, 2024.

Israeli military vehicles are seen near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in southern Israel, May 8, 2024.

Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

But some Democrats have already opposed the legislation.

New York Rep. Dan Goldman, a pro-Israel Jewish Democrat, called it a “misleading” measure by Republicans who he said wanted to score political points in the election year.

Goldman said the Republicans’ “latest messaging bill does nothing to materially help Israel’s security, fundamentally mischaracterizes the president’s statements and steadfast support for Israel since October 7, and simply requires commitments that the administration has made repeatedly.” ”

“As an American Jew, I am offended by the politicization and partisan manipulation of these very serious issues,” Goldman said.

In a statement Tuesday, the White House said it “strongly opposes” what it called an “unnecessary and unwise” bill and that the Biden would veto it.

The White House last week stepped up rhetoric against Israel’s expected invasion of Rafah. In addition to Biden’s stark warning, Israel was denied 3,500 bombs for fear they could be used in a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah.

The move sparked outrage among Republicans, who viewed it as a betrayal of a longtime American wartime ally. Speaker Mike Johnson called it a “senior moment” on Biden’s part and expressed anger that Congress had not been notified in advance.

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a press conference at Columbia University on April 24, 2024 in New York City.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a press conference at Columbia University on April 24, 2024 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In the Senate, Senator Lindsey Graham led a group of Republican lawmakers in introducing a resolution condemning any actions by the Biden administration to withhold or limit munitions to Israel. However, their resolution is unlikely to make headway in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“I think Israel is fighting for its life (and) the reason so many Palestinians have been killed is because Hamas has command centers under hospitals. Don’t reward their behavior,” Graham said at a press conference last week.

The White House tried to turn down the temperature on Monday when it came to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in lengthy remarks at the daily news conference that he wanted to get back to “basics” as he reiterated the administration’s view on the war, including that Israel has the right to defend itself against the threat posed by Hamas , but also their duty to protect civilians and the need to conclude a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages.

Previous presidents, including Republicans, have withheld help to send a clear message to Israel and other allies.

Regarding arms transfers specifically, Sullivan said the administration “will continue to send military assistance and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount specified in the additional amount. We have halted the shipment of 2,000 pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities. We are talking to the Israeli government about this.”

“The President was clear that he would not provide certain offensive weapons for such an operation if it were to occur. It hasn’t happened yet,” Sullivan said. “And we are still working with Israel on a better way to ensure the defeat of Hamas everywhere in Gaza, including Rafah.”

Sullivan also tried to make clear that Biden’s “commitment to Israel is rock solid.”

‘Tough as nails doesn’t mean you never disagree, it means you resolve your differences like only true friends can. That is exactly what we have done for the past seven months and we will continue to do so.”

Alexandra Hutzler and Shannon Crawford of ABC News contributed to this report.