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Phillips, House Democrats Condemn GOP Attempts to use Israel and the American Jewish Community as Political Pawns

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representatives Costa, Cohen, Goldman, Manning, Norcross, Phillips, Schrier, Stevens, Stanton, Sherman, Wasserman-Schultz, and Wild voted against H.R. 8369, the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, and issued the following joint statement in response to repeated attempts by House Republicans to use Israel and the American Jewish community as political pawns: 

“For over fifty years, President Biden has resoundingly and repeatedly demonstrated his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and right to defend itself. Since the abominable Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, 2023, he has stood with Israel, remained resolute about dismantling Hamas, securing the release of all hostages, including American citizens, and ensuring increased and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

And while we may disagree with the President’s decision to pause certain weapons shipments to Israel, we appreciate his shared commitment to Israel’s security and interest in reducing civilian casualties in Gaza. For six crucial months, President Biden’s request for additional aid to Israel went unmet, and House Republicans refused to even allow a vote on the bipartisan, Senate-passed National Security Supplemental bill for two months - which prevented critical military aid from reaching Israel and critical humanitarian assistance from reaching Palestinian civilians.

And now, the same House Republicans are attempting to weaponize Israel for political gain by bringing partisan bills to the floor in an effort to split Democrats and the American Jewish community. Rather than working with Democrats to develop bipartisan legislation that meets our national security objectives and Israel’s security needs, Republicans’ latest bill lacks a single Democrat co-sponsor, mischaracterizes President Biden's comments and steadfast support for Israel, removes oversight and accountability for arms sales, and threatens to withhold operating funds and salaries from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of State, and the National Security Council at a time the United States and our allies face growing threats across the globe. 

We reject such shameless and dangerous attempts to use Israel and the American Jewish community as political pawns, while compromising Israel’s - and perhaps our own - security in the process. 

We call on Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to cease the practice of unilateral messaging bills with no path forward in the Senate and restore the broad, bipartisan, pro-Israel consensus that has existed in the halls of Congress for decades. We, the undersigned, stand at the ready to work with our Republican colleagues to ensure the U.S.-Israel relationship remains ironclad, that Hamas is dismantled, all hostages are returned, and Israelis and Palestinians can soon live side-by-side in peace, dignity, and mutual security.”