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White House Rejects Republican Bill Forcing Release of Military Aid to Israel

Biden Administration Opposes House Legislation to Compel Israeli Arms Shipments

The White House has come out strongly against a Republican-led bill aimed at forcing President Joe Biden to release withheld military assistance to Israel, citing concerns over constraining the president’s ability to make decisions consistent with US foreign policy and national security objectives.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the administration’s opposition to the bill, which House Republicans introduced in response to Biden’s decision to pause a shipment of weapons to Israel amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The bill, dubbed the Israel Security Assistance Support Act, would not only require Biden to deliver the withheld aid but also freeze the budgets for the offices of the Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, and National Security Council if he fails to do so.

White House Blocks Efforts to Force President’s Hand on Israeli Military Assistance

This move is seen as a political test for vulnerable Democrats who have sought to balance their support for Israel’s war against Hamas with the White House’s efforts to limit the impact on civilians in Gaza.

The White House has repeatedly warned Israel against a major ground operation in Rafah, though it has struggled to define what that would entail.

Israeli forces are already present in the city, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated his intention to proceed with an invasion with or without US support.

Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s decision to pause the military shipment, highlighting the destructive potential of 2,000-pound bombs in densely populated urban environments like Rafah.

She reaffirmed the president’s commitment to Israel’s security, emphasizing the administration’s intention to spend every last cent appropriated consistent with legal obligations.

The White House’s opposition to the bill sets the stage for a contentious political showdown, with implications for US-Israel relations and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

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