‘He Should Be Impeached': GOP Congressional Leaders Blast Biden’s Halt in Arms Sales to Israel and Pledge to Keep Aid Flowing

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (
May 9, 2024

Several Republicans in Congress on Thursday floated the possibility of impeaching President Joe Biden for his threat to freeze American arms shipments to Israel and pledged to keep critical aid to the Jewish state flowing over the White House’s objections.

"While President Biden stands with terrorists, House Republicans will continue fighting to ensure Israel receives the aid it needs to eradicate Hamas," Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn.), the House majority whip, told the Washington Free Beacon. "In the meantime, has anyone heard from House Democrats who argued that withholding aid from an ally for political purposes was an impeachable offense in 2019?"

Emmer is referring to a 2019 effort by Democrats in Congress to impeach former president Donald Trump over charges he withheld aid from Ukraine as a political reprisal. Biden’s similar threat, issued in a CNN interview Wednesday evening, is already drawing comparisons and could spark an election season effort by Republicans to punish Biden for what they say is his abandonment of Israel.

"The Democrats impeached President Trump after falsely accusing him of withholding aid from Ukraine," Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Free Beacon. "Now Joe Biden is openly blocking aid from Israel to leave it vulnerable to terrorist attack and to keep the pro-Hamas leftists in his voting base happy. Biden is unfit for office and he should be impeached."

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), chair of the House Republican Conference, said that Biden is defying Congress’s will by threatening to freeze key arms to Israel, which the country has been using since Oct. 7 to defend its territory from an onslaught by Hamas terrorists.

The Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration hid its decision to pause some arms shipments to Israel from Congress, which recently passed an emergency national security funding bill that included military assistance for Israel. By holding up these arms, Stefanik said in a statement to the Free Beacon, Biden is subverting Congress’s will and its control over the federal purse strings.

"In defiance of Congress, Biden’s decision greenlights Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran to escalate attacks following his failed foreign policy of appeasement," Stefanik said. "Joe Biden has put the security and very existence of our most precious ally Israel at risk due to his desperate attempt to salvage his plummeting polling. Joe Biden is prioritizing appeasing the pro-Hamas base of the Democrat Party over returning American and Israeli hostages and supporting Israel’s right to exist."

Reps. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) and Mike Rogers (R., Ala.)—chairs of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committee—also said on Thursday that the Biden administration kept its decision hidden from Congress.

"This disastrous policy decision was undertaken in secret and deliberately hidden from Congress and the American people," McCaul and Rogers said in a joint statement. "At a time when Israel continues to negotiate in good faith to secure the release of hostages, including American citizens, the administration’s shortsighted, strategic error calls into question its ‘unshakeable commitment’ as an ally."

Biden’s Wednesday threat to freeze American shipments of bombs and artillery shells to Israel if the country moves forward with an operation into the Gaza Strip’s Rafah neighborhood immediately reverberated through the Washington, D.C., foreign policy community.

"I made it clear that if they go into Rafah—they haven't gone in Rafah yet—if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities," the president told CNN in an interview. The United States has reportedly already paused shipments of "high-payload munitions."

Jewish Democratic groups and lawmakers expressed concerns over the decision, indicating Biden’s increasingly hardline stance towards Israel is not drawing mainstream support. While Biden has repeatedly promised that his support for Israel is ironclad, his policies are casting doubt on this claim.

"We are deeply grateful for President Biden’s unprecedented support for Israel and its security," Democratic Majority for Israel wrote in a statement on Wednesday. "At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the Administration’s decision to withhold weapons now and potentially impose further restrictions."

Meanwhile, the Free Beacon reported on Thursday afternoon that just a day before Biden threatened Israel’s arms shipments, the administration issued a sanctions waiver to bypass congressional prohibitions on arms sales to countries that boycott the Jewish state, including Hamas patron Qatar and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon.