Mike Johnson, Mitch McConnell demand to know why Biden halted military aid to Israel

May 8, 2024 | Political News

In a joint letter from House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the two leaders urged Biden to explain why he paused a weapons shipment bound for Israel as it continues its war against Hamas terrorists.

“Having recently worked on a bipartisan basis to pass an emergency national security supplemental appropriations bill that included urgent assistance to Israel, we were alarmed by media reports that your Administration had delayed the delivery of a variety of weapons shipments bound for Israel. This news flies in the face of assurances provided regarding the timely delivery of security assistance to Israel,” they stated in the letter.

They added that despite assurances, “we learned from your staff that a ‘review of a specific weapons shipment' was underway” only after “public press reports and subsequent engagement by our offices.”

“Additionally, we have not been able to obtain pertinent information from the Department of State or from the Department of Defense regarding the ongoing review.”

“Israel faces an existential and multi-front threat as recently demonstrated by the direct attack by Iran and Iranian-backed terrorists, and daylight between the United States and Israel at this dangerous time risks emboldening Israel’s enemies and undermining the trust that other allies and partners have in the United States.”

The pair of Congressional leaders demanded that Biden “provide relevant responses by the end of the week on the timing of this ‘review,' if any other shipments will be similarly paused, what office is responsible for conducting the review(s), and most importantly when the review is anticipated to end to allow this vital assistance to move forward.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Wednesday that “we've paused one shipment of high-payload munitions.” The administration was “reviewing some near-term security assistance to Israel in the context of unfolding events in Rafah,” CBS News reported.

The shipment that has been paused contains 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs. The administration was concerned with the damage that the latter type of bomb could do in urban areas, a senior administration official told the outlet.