A resolution “standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists” passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 412-10.
Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)—chair and ranking member respectively of the House Foreign Affairs Committee—had introduced H.Res.771, which has drawn 424 other cosponsors, on Oct. 11.
“We must all acknowledge that Hamas is a cutthroat, terrorist organization that exists solely to destroy Israel,” Meeks said ahead of the vote. “Hamas’s terrorism does not help the Palestinians, and in this moment, it is critical for Israel to know that the United States of America stands firmly by its side in this battle against Hamas.”
“Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Summer Lee (D-Pa.) voted against the resolution, as did Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.), Al Green (D-Texas) and Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.).
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the lone Republican to vote against it. The congressman wrote that he condemns Hamas and supports Israeli self-defense, but opposes sanctions on sovereign states, which he said hurt citizens more than governments.
“Our country is going bankrupt, and we can’t afford to borrow money to send overseas,” he wrote. Its “open-ended promise of military support” could be seen as committing U.S. soldiers to the conflict, and it broadens “the conflict to other countries when it would be better to keep the war contained geographically,” he added.
Six Democrats, including “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Ma.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, voted “present.” Three Democrats and two Republicans did not vote.
“Congressional intent is significant, and I voted present today because I could not in good conscience support an outdated resolution that fails to acknowledge the overwhelming loss of Palestinian life and the consequential moment we find ourselves in,” Pressley stated. She called for “de-escalation and an urgent ceasefire.”
“Over 420 House Representatives have united to co-sponsor this legislation. Yet, far-left extremist Democrats, including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush, are refusing to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” House Republicans announced ahead of the vote.
“Failing to condemn Hamas and not standing with our greatest ally, Israel, weakens the global fight against terrorism,” they added.
The resolution says that the United States reaffirms the Israeli right to self-defense, calls on other nations to “unequivocally condemn Hamas’s brutal war against Israel” and demands that Hamas immediately cease its attacks and release hostages (including bodies it seized). It also commits “to Israel’s security, including through security assistance,” urges full enforcement of the Taylor Force Act that prohibits aid to the Palestinian Authority until it ends its “pay for slay” policy, condemns Iran and calls for sanctions against it.