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Republicans fight to ensure Israel gets the weapons it needs to defeat Hamas

Republicans fight to ensure Israel gets the weapons it needs to defeat Hamas


Republicans fight to ensure Israel gets the weapons it needs to defeat Hamas

WASHINGTON — House Republicans, along with several Democrats, were set Thursday to deliver a rebuke to President Joe Biden for pausing a shipment of bombs to Israel, voting on legislation that would seek to force the weapons transfer.

Republicans said the president had no business chiding Israel for how it uses the U.S.-manufactured weapons that are instrumental in its war against Hamas. They have not been satisfied with the Biden administration moving forward this week on a new $1 billion sale to Israel of tank ammunition, tactical vehicles and mortar rounds.

“We’re beyond frustrated,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said. “I don’t think we should tell the Israelis how to conduct their military campaign, period.”

The House bill condemns Biden for initiating the pause on the bomb shipment and would withhold funding for the State Department, Department of Defense and the National Security Council until the delivery is made.

The White House has said Biden would veto the bill if it passes Congress, and the Democratic-led Senate seems certain to reject it.

“It’s not going anywhere," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week.

Republicans were undeterred as they tried to highlight Democratic divides on the Israel-Hamas war. Appearing on the Capitol steps ahead of voting Thursday morning, House Republican leaders argued that passage of the bill in the House would build pressure on Schumer and Biden.

“It is President Biden and Senator Schumer himself who are standing in the way of getting Israel the resources it desperately needs to defend itself,” Speaker Mike Johnson said.

Some Democrats appeared likely to support the legislation.

“The administration has been wavering so I’m going to vote for the bill when it comes to the floor,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat, said this week.

Another Democrat who has criticized the pause on the bomb shipment, Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Florida, said this week he was also considering the messages being sent to the Jewish community in the United States.

“My community right now is worried,” he said. “Things don’t happen in a vacuum.”