Tuesday 21 May 2024

Biden vows to VETO bill that could make him lose control of Israel

 President Joe Biden has declared his intention to veto a bill that would force the United States to expedite all approved arms shipments to Israel because it could make him lose control of the Middle Eastern nation.

The proposed bill, introduced on May 14 by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), would cut off all federal funding to the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the National Security Council if the White House doesn't agree to move forwardwith all approved arms shipments for Israel.

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act was approved by the House of Representatives on May 16, with 208 Republicans and 16 Democrats in support and three Republicans and 184 Democrats opposed. 

Republicans argue that the bill makes it clear that the president had no business attempting to dictate Israel's policies nor how it uses the U.S.-manufactured weapons that are instrumental in its ongoing military campaign in Gaza.

Upon the bill's passage in the House, the White House said it would "undermine the president's ability to execute an effective foreign policy" and raises "serious concerns about the infringement" of the president's authority under the Constitution.

Biden's freeze of arms shipment criticized by both the left and the right

Debate over the bill began when the Biden administration put on hold a weapons shipment of 3,500 bombs – some as large as 2,000 pounds – each of which is capable of killing hundreds of people in populated areas. The arms shipment was suspended as the Biden administration sought to discourage Israel from its offensive on the crowded southern Gazan city of Rafah

Biden's decision to follow through on his threat to hold weapons shipments to Israel has also been criticized from the left as being of negligible effect, as the vast majority of arms transfers to Israel are continuing despite the freeze on the one specific arms shipment and the ongoing Israeli attack on Rafah. The Biden administration is already planning to send a $1 billion shipment for arms and ammunition to Israel.

On the right, Republicans have criticized the president's attempt to meddle in Israeli politics and to threaten its ability to deal with Hamas.

"We're beyond frustrated," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). "I don't think we should tell the Israelis how to conduct their military campaign, period."

"It is clear that Biden and [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer have turned their back on Israel," said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). "They are carrying water for Iran and its proxies."

"Israel needs to finish the job," he added. "And America needs to help Israel extinguish the flame of terror that is wrought by Hamas."

"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," continued Johnson.


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