House Vote Compels US to Send Arms to Israel

The House of Representatives has voted to force the Biden administration to deliver munitions to Israel. During a recent interview, President Biden said he had delayed a weapons shipment to the Jewish state because America would not provide the means for Israel to mount a ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The President declared his continued commitment to Israel’s safety, but he opposed the Rafah incursion because millions of civilians had taken refuge there.

Republicans reacted furiously to the decision, with some suggesting Biden was engaged in electioneering aimed at winning support from the anti-Israel protestors that recently occupied college campus buildings and grounds nationwide.

The bill, supported by all but three Republicans and 16 Democrats, is predicted to fail in the Senate. Chuck Schumer, leader of the Senate’s Democratic majority, said the legislation is “not going anywhere.” In response, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell described the situation as frustrating. He argued that it is not America’s role to dictate Israel’s military campaign against Hamas.

Some Democrats described their disappointment that colleagues voted with Republicans in the House. “Squad” member Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts said she was very upset and called on Democrats to do all they could to de-escalate the Middle East conflict. Similarly, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington said her party should back the President and encourage him to secure a ceasefire.

Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota argued that the vote was tough for Democrats to navigate and said that some Congressional colleagues were motivated by political optics rather than doing “the right thing.”

The bill demands the urgent delivery of all munitions to Israel, as previously agreed by Congress, within 15 days of its passage. It warns that State Department and Department of Defense funding will be withheld if the shipments are delayed further. Speaker Mike Johnson warned Chuck Schumer that if he refuses to put the measure before the Senate, he will betray a key US ally.