House Passes Bill To Stop Biden From Withholding Arms To Israel
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center after a meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

On Thursday, the GOP-led House passed a bill that pressures the Biden administration not to withhold arms from Israel as the U.S. ally fights Iran-backed Hamas following a deadly terrorist attack in October of last year.

The “Israel Security Assistance Support Act,” which President Joe Biden has threatened to veto, received support from 224 lawmakers. A total of 187 members, including three Republicans and 184 Democrats, voted against the bill. Nineteen lawmakers did not vote.

House Democrat leaders had urged members of their caucus to oppose the legislation, but that did not stop 16 Democrats from breaking ranks and joining the 208 Republicans to advance it to the Senate.

“The Biden Administration’s decision to withhold weapons is catastrophic and goes directly against the will of Congress,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said in a statement. “With the passage of the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, we send a clear message of solidarity and support to Israel and demand the urgent delivery of defense weapons to our most important ally in the Middle East.”

A group of House Republicans unveiled the bill over the weekend after Biden halted the delivery of 3,500 large bombs to Israel in protest of a full-scale ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Biden has since moved forward with sending other arms to Israel.

The bill pushes for the “expeditious delivery of defense articles and defense services for Israel and other matters.” It also seeks to withhold funds from the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and National Security Council until delivery is confirmed.

Other provisions are geared toward condemning the Biden administration’s decisions to pause certain arms transfers to Israel, reaffirming “Israel’s right to self-defense,” and requiring a report on actions taken to withhold security assistance from Israel.

The White House issued a statement of administrative policy on Tuesday that warned Biden would veto the bill if it reaches his desk, claiming it would “undermine the President’s ability to execute an effective foreign policy.”

That veto threat was enough for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to say during a press conference the bill was “not going anywhere.” It is not immediately clear whether the legislation will even get a vote in the Senate.

In his statement, Johnson said, “The President’s threat to veto this legislation and Leader Schumer’s refusal to bring it to a vote in the Senate are acts of betrayal to our closest ally in the region.” He added, “What’s more alarming is the 184 House Democrats that joined them in siding with the radical, pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic party. Security assistance to Israel is an urgent priority that must not be delayed.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Passes Bill To Stop Biden From Withholding Arms To Israel