Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kennedy, Cotton introduce bill to require Biden admin to reverse pause on Israel arms transfer

Submitted by United States Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2024) – Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and colleagues in introducing the Israel Security Assistance Support Act to condemn the Biden administration’s pause on arms transfers to Israel and require the administration to reverse its pause.

“The Biden administration might be set on ending defense support for Israel, but Congress and the American people aren’t going to support the terrorists. The Israel Security Assistance Support Act would ensure America’s greatest ally in the Middle East can destroy Hamas,” said Kennedy.

“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. This bill will reverse Joe Biden’s arms embargo and withhold the salaries of officials who implement it,” said Cotton.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives.

“President Biden’s decision to withhold a portion of the Israel security aid just passed by an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of Congress projects the very weakness that has become a trademark of his presidency. If President Biden will not release these weapons, Congress must act to enforce the United States’ support for Israel in its efforts to eliminate Hamas. I thank Senator Cotton for his steadfast support for Israel and introduction of The Israel Security Assistance Support Act in the Senate,” said Calvert.

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act would:

  • Compel the expeditious delivery of approved defense articles and services to Israel, including third-party deliveries.
  • Withhold funds from the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and the National Security Council until the U.S. delivers suspended defense articles.
  • Condemn the Biden administration’s dangerous decision to pause arms as Israel faces unprecedented threats from Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iran.
  • Reaffirm Israel’s right to self-defense.
  • Uphold Congress’s power of the purse and oversight responsibilities.
  • Require a report on actions the executive branch takes to withhold security assistance and therefore impede Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) also cosponsored the legislation.

Full text of the resolution is here

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