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Biden Threatens Veto of 'Unwise' Bill on Weapons to Israel

By    |   Tuesday, 14 May 2024 08:16 PM EDT

The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden will veto the Israel Security Assistance Support Act if it is passed by Congress and sent to his desk.

The House is set to vote on the legislation this week in the wake of Biden's threat to withhold weapons shipments to Israel as it considered its military operation in the Gaza city of Rafah against Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists.

"The administration strongly opposes H.R. 8369, the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, which seeks to limit the President's discretion to ensure that the delivery of certain defense articles and services align with U.S. foreign policy objectives," the White House said in a Statement of Administration Policy.

"This bill would undermine the President's ability to execute an effective foreign policy. This bill could raise serious concerns about infringement on the President's authorities under Article II of the Constitution, including his duties as Commander-in-Chief and Chief Executive and his power to conduct foreign relations."

The House bill urges the "expeditious delivery" of defense articles and services to Israel, condemns the Biden administration's decision to pause shipments to Israel and reaffirms Israel's right to self-defense. It also calls for funds for the secretaries of Defense and State and the National Security Council to be withheld until defense articles are delivered to Israel.

The House bill was sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., and Sens. John Kennedy, R-La., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

"President Biden's decision to impose a de facto arms embargo on Israel is a betrayal of one of our most important allies as it fights an existential war for survival," Cotton said in a news release. "This bill will reverse Joe Biden's arms embargo and withhold the salaries of officials who implement it."

Congress last month passed a $95.3 billion foreign aid package that included $26 billion to Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza. That legislation had strong bipartisan support, with the Israel portion passing 366-58 in the House. The legislation passed the Senate 79-18 as an overall package that included aid to Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region.

Because of the bipartisan support, it is conceivable that enough Democrats could join Republicans in Congress to pass the legislation and send it to Biden's desk.

But Biden is facing tremendous political pressure in a reelection year from Muslim Americans and others opposed to his administration's support for Israel's military operation in Gaza, launched following Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack.

"This bill is a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the Administration's approach to Israel," the White House said. "The President has been clear: We will always ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself. Our commitment to Israel is ironclad. The Administration will continue to use all funds appropriated for Israel consistent with legal requirements, including in the recent supplemental, rendering this bill unnecessary and unwise."

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden will veto the Israel Security Assistance Support Act if it is passed by Congress and sent to his desk.
joe biden, veto, threat, israel, security, support, weapons, bill, congress, foreign, aid
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Tuesday, 14 May 2024 08:16 PM
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