As his first legislative move in leadership, newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) brought a resolution in support of standing with Israel before the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The resolution passed by a vote of 412–10, with six representatives voting “present” on Oct. 25, just hours after the new speaker was officially sworn in.
Earlier that afternoon, Mr. Johnson received 220 votes to become speaker of the House. The vote ended a three-week stint without a speaker for the Republican-controlled House.
The Louisiana lawmaker, a lower-ranking member of the House GOP leadership team, was the fourth Republican nominee for speaker after Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and the others failed in what has become an unprecedented cycle of political discord among GOP factions jockeying for power since the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Oct. 3.
The new speaker’s first resolution called on the United States to ensure that it’s “standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”
The measure was introduced on Oct. 10 by House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking Democratic member Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas). They were joined by 390 of their colleagues in supporting the bipartisan effort, according to a statement from Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Now is the time to show the world the United States firmly stands with our friend and ally Israel in our condemnation of this heinous attack by Iran-backed terrorists,” Mr. McCaul said in a statement regarding the measure. “I expect this bipartisan resolution to be one of the first, if not the first, items considered on the floor once we elect a new speaker. And I expect it to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Mr. Meeks also weighed in: “President [Joe] Biden has committed the United States fully to Israel’s self-defense. Israel is responding to the Hamas terror organization’s unprecedented attack. The bipartisan resolution will demonstrate this is one issue in which the U.S. House of Representatives is united, and I expect it to pass the House with broad bipartisan support.”
President Biden also previously called for support for Israel and Ukraine in a recent Oval Office address, saying on Oct. 19 that both should receive increased funding.
According to the president, that Israel and Ukraine win their respective conflicts is in the United States’ national security interest.
“You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” he said.
President Biden went on to underscore his belief that aid was necessary.
“They keep going, and the cost and the threat to America and the world keep rising,” he said.
The president announced that he would submit a supplemental budget request to Congress to aid both nations. Earlier media reports suggested that the White House is contemplating a massive aid package that could exceed $100 billion and include funds for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as for border security.
“Hamas and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,” President Biden said.
Recent polling data show that most Americans support Israel and oppose Hamas in the ongoing war. The Harris Poll and HarrisX, released on Oct. 19, showed that Americans were supportive of backing Israel as the conflict between the ally nation and terrorist group rages on following the surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
Only 16 percent of Americans said they support Hamas in the battle; 84 percent said they support Israel. Of respondents older than the age of 65, 95 percent said they support Israel, and 5 percent said they support Hamas. In the 18-to-24-year-old group, 52 percent said they support Israel and 48 percent said they support Hamas.
From The Epoch Times