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GOP turns up heat on House Dems with high-pressure Israel vote Thursday

May 16, 2024

The House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill to stop President Biden from blocking offensive weapons aid to Israel on Thursday.

Biden has faced bipartisan backlash for withholding a bomb shipment from Israel over fears it could be used in Rafah, as well as for warning Israel that the U.S. would not send offensive weapons if they were used on population centers in the southern Gaza Strip. 

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act would condemn the president’s posture on Israel’s Gaza invasion while compelling the Biden administration to expeditiously send any weapons shipments already approved by Congress.

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It would also withhold funding from the secretary of defense, secretary of state and the National Security Council if there was any delay in weapons aid. 

Democrat leaders in the House and White House are actively opposing the bill, but it’s expected to have at least a few supporters on the left.

One House Democrat aide told Fox News Digital they anticipate roughly 10 left-wing lawmakers to join Republicans in supporting the bill.

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A second House Democrat aide put the number at under 20, noting that the White House was “pushing hard” against the bill.

At least two Democrat lawmakers – Reps. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Greg Landsman, D-Ohio – have told Axios that they are voting for the bill.

The issue of Israel has proven to be a potent political cudgel for the GOP as Democrats wrestle with a growing chorus of voices who are increasingly critical of the U.S.’s traditionally unconditional support for Israel.

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House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said Wednesday morning, “We know this is a political sham bill. And really, when you look at this bill, they are looking to [the Pentagon], State Department, the NSC, in this time of global conflict. It’s shameful.”

The White House called the bill a “misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the administration’s approach to Israel” in its veto threat.

The vote comes days after Biden announced he was moving forward with a $1 billion weapons shipment to Israel, according to reports.

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