Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York was among the House Democrats who voted for the GOP-led bill.

Biden is withholding some military aid to Israel over concerns with its war in Gaza.House Republicans put forward a bill designed to force Biden to deliver that aid anyway.All but a handful of House Democrats voted against it.

16 House Democrats on Thursday voted for a bill designed to force President Joe Biden to provide all military aid to Israel — or risk the defunding of crucial national security-related offices.

The bill easily passed the House on an otherwise party-line vote, with almost every Republican voting for it and the vast majority of Democrats voting against it.

Three Republicans — including Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Warren Davidson of Ohio — also voted against it.

But it will not be taken up in the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Joe Biden has threatened to veto the bill, which was proposed by Republicans after Biden revealed that he was withholding some offensive weapons from Israel over concerns about the Jewish state’s invasion Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees are located.

Republicans in particular have sought to hit Biden for that move, including Rep. Cory Mills of Florida, a Republican who voted against Israel aid but has now introduced articles of impeachment against Biden for withholding that aid.

Specifically, the “Israel Security Assistance Support Act” does the following:

condemns Biden’s decision and calls on him to provide all of the approved aid to Israel;strips the salaries of any State Department or Pentagon employees who assist in withholding aid;withholds funding for the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council until all of the withheld aid has been delivered.

The White House told members of Congress on Tuesday that it strongly opposes the bill, arguing that it “would undermine the President’s ability to execute an effective foreign policy” and that it could “lead to spiraling unintended consequences” by constraining the president’s ability to adjust assistance levels in the future.

House Democratic leadership also pushed rank-and-file members hard to vote against the bill, prompting at least one Democrat to avoid stating his position ahead of time.

“I know how I’m gonna vote, and nothing’s gonna move me off of that,” said Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, one of the most vulnerable swing-district Democrats in the House.

Jewish Democrats ended up being split on the bill, with several of them arguing that Republicans were merely attempting to use Israel as a wedge to divide Democrats.

Among them was Rep. Greg Landsman of Ohio, who told Business Insider in a statement that he would vote for the bill while calling on Republicans to amend it. He also argued more “clarity” is needed from the Biden administration on its Israel policy.

Since October 7, the House has taken a variety of Israel-related votes that have split House Democrats, including one that equated anti-Zionism with antisemitism and another that was designed to crack down on campus antisemitism but faced free speech-related criticism.

Last month, 37 House Democrats voted against a bill to provide the military aid to Israel that Biden is now partially withholding.

Here are the 16 House Democrats who voted for the bill:

Matt Cartwright of PennsylvaniaAngie Craig of MinnesotaHenry Cuellar of TexasDon Davis of North CarolinaLois Frankel of FloridaMarie Gluesenkamp PerezJared Golden of MaineJosh Gottheimer of New JerseyGreg Landsman of OhioJared Moskowitz of FloridaFrank Pallone of New JerseyMary Peltola of AlaskaDavid Scott of GeorgiaDarren Soto of FloridaTom Suozzi of New YorkRitchie Torres of New York

Read the original article on Business Insider


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