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Coalition of House Democrats concerned over Biden pausing weapons shipment to Israel

The letter, addressed to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, requested a classified briefing on the decision to halt the shipment, which contained more than a thousand 2,000-pound bombs, and 500-pound bombs.

Published: May 10, 2024 5:17pm

A group of 26 House Democrats expressed concern over President Joe Biden's decision to pause a weapons shipment to Israel in a letter on Friday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testified in front of the Senate earlier this week that the administration has halted the shipment of two types of bombs. No plans to resume the shipment had been made as of Thursday night. 

The letter, addressed to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, requested a classified briefing on the decision to halt the shipment, which contained more than a thousand 2,000-pound bombs, and approximately 1,700 of the smaller 500-pound bombs.

“We are deeply concerned about the message the Administration is sending to Hamas and other Iranian-backed terrorist proxies by withholding weapons shipments to Israel, during a critical moment in the negotiations,” the letter reads. “We fear that public disputes with our critical ally only emboldens our mutual enemies, including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other Iranian-backed proxies. It also buttresses their agenda of chaos, brutality, and hate, and makes a hostage agreement even harder to achieve.”

Hamas, which was responsible for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel last year, still has over 130 hostages. This includes eight United States hostages, five of whom lawmakers believe could still be alive.

"With democracy under assault around the world, we cannot undermine our ally Israel, especially in her greatest hour of need. America’s commitments must always be ironclad," the letter said. "The President’s unyielding commitment to passing emergency supplemental funding showed the world our commitment. When we abandon these duties, we leave a vacuum of American leadership for our anti-democratic adversaries to fill."

The administration's decision to pause the shipment has been met with backlash by both parties, and even triggered calls for Biden's impeachment. Florida Rep. Cory Mills, a Republican, has filed articles of impeachment against the president, citing precedent from the Trump administration, which saw former President Donald Trump impeached over his decision to withhold aid to Ukraine in 2019.

Biden had warned Israel about the potential delay earlier this week, after the country announced it would invade Rafah, which it launched on Tuesday night. 

The letter was signed by Democratic Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Steven Horsford of Nevada, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, and Haley Stevens of Michigan, among others.

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

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