House Passes ICC Sanctions Bill After Israeli Arrest Warrant Requests
House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) questions U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during a committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 04, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The GOP-led House passed on Wednesday a bill threatening to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants against Israeli leaders.

Forty-two Democrats joined with 205 Republicans in voting to pass the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, sending the legislation to the Senate. President Joe Biden opposes the bill despite blasting the warrant applications.

The legislation would “impose sanctions with respect to the International Criminal Court engaged in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person of the United States and its allies.”

Penalties listed in the bill would have the president implement restrictions on transactions of property and interests within the United States, as well as visas, admission, or parole of anyone who is linked to offending actions by the ICC.

Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the sanctions bill early last month, citing reports indicating that the ICC was prepared to issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials in response to the war in the Gaza Strip.

“This sends a strong message to the ICC that we will not tolerate their outrageous attacks on Israel,” Roy said in a statement on Tuesday after his bill passed the House.

“But let’s be clear, this isn’t just about Israel, this is about ensuring that our nation’s sovereignty is protected, as well as our servicemembers,” Roy added. “Absent decisive leadership at the White House, Congress must stand in the breach defending our allies and our sovereignty.”


Roughly two weeks ago, ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in addition to Hamas leaders, drawing bipartisan criticism among U.S. leaders.

Biden called the applications for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders “outrageous.”

However, the White House released a statement of policy that opposed Roy’s bill, saying there are “more effective ways” in which the United States could respond.

The Democrat-controlled Senate may not even bring the ICC sanctions legislation up for consideration. Other GOP measures, such as a sweeping border security bill from last year, have been cast aside by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), a co-sponsor of the ICC sanctions bill, encouraged the upper chamber to “immediately” pass the legislation.

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