House Votes to Restore Arms to Israel That Biden Embargoed

News & Politics

The House voted to defy the arms embargo set in place by Joe Biden against Israel with 16 Democrats joining all but three Republicans in voting for the measure.

The bill orders the Biden administration to restore the sale of thousands of precision JDAM bombs that Biden refuses to send to Israel after the Jewish state crossed some kind of “red line” that the president set. 

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“This administration wants to dictate how Israel executes the war that they were thrust into,” House Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on the House floor. “[Israel] did not ask for this war. They did not start this war. Hamas started this war.”

“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,” McCaul said during the debate for the bill.

“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.”

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told a news conference on Wednesday, “This is a catastrophic decision with global implications. It is obviously being done as a political calculation, and we cannot let this stand.”

After more than a week of arm-twisting and pressure from the White House, 16 Democrats still crossed the aisle to vote for the bill. They weren’t happy about it.

“It is not a serious effort at legislation, which is why some of the most pro-Israel members of the House Democratic caucus will be voting no,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told a news conference.

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Of course, the politics of the bill redounded in favor of the Republicans, which made many Democrats angry.

“This is just a communicative act,” he said on the floor. “This resolution has poison pills, including condemning Biden by name, in a clear effort to get as little Democratic support as possible.”

The Republican leadership poured it on before the vote.

“House Democrats have made it clear they’d rather stand in solidarity with terrorists than support our strongest ally in the Middle East,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told Fox News Digital.

Meanwhile, the White House promised to veto the bill.

“The bill is a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the Administration’s approach to Israel. The President has been clear: we will always ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” the White House said earlier this week.

Citing the veto threat, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he wouldn’t bring the bill to the floor.

New York Times:

The vote was the latest bid by congressional Republicans to portray themselves and their party as the true friends of the Jewish state and capitalize politically on the rift among Democrats about the war. The bill effectively forced Democrats to choose between a vote that would show unequivocal backing for Israel but embarrass Mr. Biden, and one that Republicans portrayed as anti-Israel.

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The bill never had a chance given the opposition from the White House. But it certainly made for an uncomfortable vote for a few dozen Democrats in districts with a heavy Jewish population.

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