House passes bill forcing US-supplied weapons to Israel — despite Biden’s veto threat

The House passed a bill Thursday that would force President Biden to swiftly send US weapons to Israel amid its war with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip — in the face of a pause on the shipment and a looming veto threat from the commander in chief.

The lower chamber voted 224-187 for the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, with 208 Republicans and 16 Democrats voting in support. Three Republicans opposed it.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) on Tuesday, would also defund Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Biden’s National Security Council until the shipments are delivered.

The White House on Tuesday announced that the president would veto the bill, claiming it would bar Biden from executing “effective foreign policy” and was based on a “distortion” of the pause, which some Republicans had criticized as an “arms embargo.”

The House passed a bill Thursday that would force President Biden to swiftly send US weapons to Israel amid its war with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Getty Images

“It is clear that Biden and [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer have turned their back on Israel,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a Thursday morning press conference. “They are carrying water for Iran and its proxies.”

“Israel needs to finish the job,” Johnson (R-La.) added. “And America needs to help Israel extinguish the flame of terror that is wrought by Hamas.”

An overwhelming majority of House Democrats opposed the legislation after having been whipped against it by their caucus leaders, who dismissed the bill as a partisan stunt.

The White House on Tuesday announced that the president would veto the bill, claiming it would bar Biden from executing “effective foreign policy” and was based on a “distortion” of the pause. AP

Republicans and Democrats expressed alarm May 8 after the Biden administration paused the 2,000-pound bombs to Israel, with the president revealing in a CNN interview later he would not supply the weapons if the Israeli military assaulted Rafah, considered the last stronghold of Hamas in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the administration’s threat, and his defense minister Yoav Gallant said Thurday the Jewish state’s military would press on with the operation to destroy Hamas’ underground terror tunnels.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan the day before told reporters the administration did not want the bombs to “be dropped in densely populated areas” like Rafah, where more than 1 million civilians have struggled to get food and medicine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the administration’s threat, and his defense minister Yoav Gallant said Thurday the Jewish state’s military would press on with the operation to destroy Hamas’ underground terror tunnels. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“We are continuing to send military assistance, and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplemental,” Sullivan said. “We have paused a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities.”

A group of Democratic aides opposing US military aid for Israel paraded outside the Capitol while the vote carried on inside, bearing a sign that read: “Your staff demands you save Rafah,” Fox News reported.

Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) went as far as to introduce articles of impeachment against the president on Monday, calling the move an illegal “abuse of power” by “soliciting a ‘quid pro quo’ with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes.”

But more than two dozen Democrats had come out against the Biden administration for withholding the weapons after having approved more than $26 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Israel as part of an April foreign aid package.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters the administration did not want the bombs to “be dropped in densely populated areas” like Rafah. AFP via Getty Images

“[W]ithholding weapons shipments to Israel,” the Democrats led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer wrote to Sullivan last Friday, “only emboldens our mutual enemies, including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other Iranian-backed proxies.”

The Biden administration is planning to deliver more than $1 billion in other weapons to Israel during the pause, including $700 million worth of tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Simcha D. Rothman, a member of Israel’s parliament, told The Post that Biden’s pause was “breaking his promise” to give “ironclad” support to Israel in its war against Hamas.

The Biden administration is planning to deliver more than $1 billion in other weapons to Israel during the pause, including $700 million worth of tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the Wall Street Journal reported. AFP via Getty Images

“A few weeks ago, even as Israel made it clear that it must go into Rafah to destroy Hamas, Congress voted with [an] overwhelming bipartisan majority to provide emergency military assistance,” the Knesset member said.

Rothman added that it also sent “the wrong message” to Israel and America’s enemies, from “the streets of Iran” to “Ivy League campuses.”

“They are chanting ‘Death to America, Death to Israel,’” he said.

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