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Houlahan Issues Statement on Biden Administration's Halt of Certain Weapons to Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) issued the following statement:

"In my short five years in Congress, I've learned that no bill is 100% ideal. When we talk about large legislative packages – bills that contain a number of priorities - this fact is even more apparent. That's why I approach each vote deliberately, thinking about where my community and country stands on a given issue. And in turn, where our country stands on the world stage.

Recently, I voted in favor of a national security legislative package. I believed it was largely what we as a nation should support because it sent a message to both our allies and adversaries that says loud and clear – we stand with our democratic partners. Furthermore, a message was sent to both allies and enemies that says just as loudly – we insist on humanitarian support and aid. The legislation passed by wide bipartisan margins and was immediately signed into law by President Biden. I truly believe that our unified vote was taken seriously from Moscow to Beijing and throughout terrorist organizations like Hamas. That being said, I still wish there were parts of the bill that were stronger or more specific.

On October 7th, Hamas terrorists waged an egregious and unprecedented attack on innocent civilians. We remain unwavering in our dedication to the release of all hostages as well as the eradication of Hamas as a terrorist organization with no future in a Palestinian state. President Biden and our country remain steadfast and united on this front.   

That said, for months, I have been concerned about an extension of the conflict to Rafah because of the dense Palestinian population with many innocent civilians in harm's way. Just last week, I sent a letter alongside 87 of my colleagues urging President Biden to adhere to the Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits the U.S. from providing arms sales to countries restricting the delivery of humanitarian aid assistance, either directly or indirectly. Like many Americans, I share President Biden's concerns that Prime Minister Netanyahu is creating a situation that restricts the access of humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Recently, President Biden decided to temporarily withhold specific U.S. weapons to Israel until such time as he receives further assurances about Israel's military operations and humanitarian considerations, specifically in Rafah. I don't agree with every decision the President makes, but I agree with him here.

President Biden’s action to temporarily withhold certain weapons is not unprecedented and is certainly within his authority as our Commander in Chief, just as it was for President Ronald Reagan. Furthermore, I don't subscribe to Speaker Johnson’s claim that this somehow makes us look ‘weak.’ Rather, urging our allies to conduct their defensive military operations in a manner that achieves long-term security against terrorists like Hamas while also protecting innocent civilians is the ultimate sign of strength — forged by our collective values and an overarching goal of achieving a lasting peace."

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward” and the Congressional Management Foundation’s 2022 Democracy Award for best Constituent Services in Congress.