Democrats reject GOP ads accusing them of opposing security assistance to Israel
House Democrats on Wednesday pushed back against advertisements of Republican attacks accusing them of not supporting Israeli security after their votes on a GOP procedural motion last week.
The controversy centers on a failed re-engagement motion introduced by Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) last Thursday, which reportedly blocked passage of an additional funding bill for Capitol Hill security – to which Republicans from the House objected – sending him to the Appropriations Committee, potentially killing him entirely.
Gonzales also came up with a amendment to the bill for consideration by the Appropriations Committee that would have entirely replaced funding for Capitol Hill security with additional funds for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The House vote, however, was only to send the safety supplement bill to committee, not the Iron Dome amendment.
The motion largely failed along party lines, with all Democrats present voting against it, along with one Republican, Republican Thomas Massie (R-KY). Representative Jared Golden (D-ME) did not vote on the measure.
Republican House leaders sought to use the vote to portray House Democrats as non-Israel friendly. Meanwhile, conservative group American Action Network launched a five-figure ad buy, according to Fox News, claiming four Democrats – Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D -GA) and Susan Wild (D-PA) – abandoned Israel as it came under attack by voting against Gonzales’ motion.
Luria called the attacks “shameful” and “absolute lies”.
“The Republicans took this as a way of just creating a false narrative and saying that based on this procedural vote, we – all Democrats – were voting in one way or another against Israel and against supporting the government. Iron Dome, ”Luria said. Jewish insider. “It is absurd, it is harmful, to try to make an issue that is important to the security of Israel, to our most powerful ally in the Middle East, and to try to use it as a tool. political, especially when it is an outright lie. . “
Bourdeaux also called the attacks slanderous.
“I voted to provide critical law enforcement funding on Capitol Hill after 140 officers were injured in the January 6 attack,” Bourdeaux told JI. “The Republicans opposed funding for the Capitol Police and our National Guard, and in a weird procedural gimmick they tried to do this about funding for Iron Dome. This kind of nonsense is why Republicans lost in Georgia.
The re-engagement motion was one of several attempts by Republicans last week to put Democrats at a standstill on issues relating to Israel. Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) tried unsuccessfully to use a procedural maneuver to sabotage planned votes on opioid addiction treatment and condemn anti-Asian hate crimes and instead, hold a vote on the Hamas sanction – a law that was passed by the House in 2019.
Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), who led House Democrats at the time, called Mast’s decision a “red herring” that “would cede control of the House to [Republicans]. “
“Let’s not turn away from the bills that we are here to advance today,” added Scanlon. House Democrats voted unanimously – with the exception of Golden, who has yet to vote – to continue business as scheduled.
Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tried to capitalize on Gonzales’ procedural vote, saying that “instead of siding with Israel, Democrats continue to stand on the sidelines.” And on Mast legislation, he said Washington’s free beacon: “Today, each member of the House will have the choice between siding with our ally or siding with a status quo that will only perpetuate unrest … the House should make it clear to the world that we are. united to support Israel. ”
Luria criticized the attacks as a transparent campaign tactic.
“It’s about attacking the Democrats [in] seats they think they can and want to win back so they can hand the hammer over to McCarthy, ”Luria said. “It is a purely political maneuver. I think this is an issue that should not be politicized. I can understand the policy differences, but strong bipartisan support for Israel in the US Congress is not something that should be politicized because I think it sends the wrong message to the rest of the world.
“The fact that anyone who wants to send a message that our Congress is somehow divided over [Iron Dome] is really damaging, ”she continued.
Luria stressed that she has introduced and supported a series of measures designed to strengthen Israel’s security and combat regional threats and that she supports the $ 3.8 billion in military aid the United States is sending. every year to Israel. The four members targeted in the attack ads also signed a bipartisan letter earlier this year expressing support for continued unconditional US aid to Israel.