BREAKING: House Passes New Bill Which Blocks Biden From Withholding Military Aid to Israel

On May 16, the House passed a bill prohibiting the Biden administration from withholding military assistance or services to Israel.

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act, introduced by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), passed with a 224-187 vote. The bill saw support from 208 Republicans and 16 Democrats, while 184 Democrats and three Republicans voted against it.

This move follows the administration’s decision to halt a shipment of bombs and munitions to Israel due to Washington’s concerns about a potential full-scale Israeli operation in the Gazan city of Rafah.

The bill mandates that any withheld U.S. defense assistance and services to Israel be resumed within 15 days of enactment. If this does not occur, Congress will withhold funding for the National Security Council and the offices of the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State until the defense articles or services are delivered.

The White House and House Democrat leadership oppose the bill.

“The legislation would constitute an unprecedented limitation on President Biden’s executive authority and administrative discretion to implement U.S. foreign policy,” said House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) in a message to House Democrats, urging them to vote against the bill.

The measure requires the State Department and the Defense Department to allocate all funding for Israel within 30 days of the bill’s enactment.

The bill applies to U.S. security assistance for Israel authorized during or before the 2024 fiscal year. It prohibits the administration from withholding, canceling, halting, or reversing U.S. military aid or services to Israel.

It would also block funding for the salaries of State Department and Defense Department employees who engage in such actions.

The White House said in a statement that the bill would “undermine the president’s ability to execute an effective foreign policy.”

In a May 14 statement, the administration said that the bill would go against the president’s authority as commander-in-chief in accordance with Article II of the Constitution which also includes conducting foreign policy.

“The bill is a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the administration’s approach to Israel,” the White House stated.

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“This bill, if enacted, could lead to spiraling unintended consequences, prohibiting the United States from adjusting our security assistance posture with respect to Israel in any way, including to address unanticipated emergent needs, even if Israel and the United States agree that military needs have changed and supplies should change accordingly,” it added.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded strongly to the White House’s veto threat.

“It wasn’t that long ago when President Biden called for the Elimination of Violence. He’s not doing that anymore,” he said, adding that he has “turned [his] back on Israel” and is “carrying water for Iran,” which backs the Hamas terrorist group, which launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

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By Hunter Fielding
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