Bob Casey Won’t Say Whether He Backs Biden’s Plan To Relocate Gazan Refugees to the United States

May 10, 2024

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D.) this week repeatedly refused to say if he supports President Joe Biden’s plan to relocate refugees from Gaza to the United States.

Casey remained stone-faced and silent for nearly a minute as a political tracker pressed him for his stance on Biden’s proposal.

"Do you think Biden should send Gazan refugees to Pennsylvania?" asked the tracker, according to a video released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Casey did not answer the question. Neither his office nor campaign responded to questions from the Washington Free Beacon about his views on the refugee proposal.

Casey and other vulnerable Democrats shied away from staking out a position on Biden’s proposal earlier this week. A Casey spokesman dodged the question in a statement to Politico, saying Casey is "focused on supporting Israel as it prosecutes its war against terrorist Hamas leaders, getting the hostages home, and ensuring Israel fulfills its obligation to prioritize humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. He believes U.S. focus should be on these three goals right now."

Biden’s proposal puts vulnerable swing-state Democrats like Casey in a tough spot. Republicans blasted the Biden plan, citing concerns that the refugee program could bring terrorists and Hamas sympathizers to the United States. The proposal also comes amid heavy scrutiny of Biden’s handling of the immigration crisis at the southern border. Casey, a three-term incumbent, leads Republican candidate Dave McCormick by just three points in recent polls.

Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) have issued similarly vague statements on the proposal.

McCormick’s campaign released an ad this week tying Casey to the Biden proposal. The ad calls Casey "too dangerous for Pennsylvania" and notes he has voted to support 98 percent of Biden’s proposals.

The ad noted that other Middle Eastern nations refuse to take in Gazan refugees. Egypt has refused refugees out of concerns it would bring Islamic militants into the country, and increase the risk of an armed conflict with Israel. Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he refuses to accept Gazan refugees, and that any plan to do so would cross "a red line."

Casey did break with Biden earlier this week over the president’s pause on the shipment of weapons to Israel.

"I respectfully disagree," Casey said Thursday. "[Israel] can't just move on and hope that Hamas will somehow disintegrate. They have to continue to prosecute the war. I don't think it's the time right now to constrain their ability to do that. So I have a difference of opinion."