Skip to content

Progressive Dems Push for Strong ‘No’ Vote on U.S. Military Funding for Israel

April 20, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Congressional Progressive Caucus is organizing for as big a “no” vote as possible on the bill for further funding of Israel’s war efforts, calling the vote “a make-or-break moral choice,” the New York Times reported today. The Representatives do not expect to defeat the bill, but they estimate they may get between 40 to 60 Democratic votes against, as a warning to President Biden of the strength of the opposition to his policy within the ranks of his party in Congress.

Supporters of the “no” vote are warning others to not make the mistake Congress made in 2007 when it voted to continue funding the war on Iraq. Washington State’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the caucus, is cited: “In the wake of those votes, people came around much, much later and said, ‘We shouldn’t have allowed that to go forward'.… And I think that this is that moment.”

Texas’s Lloyd Doggett, a leader of that 2007 opposition drive, told the New York paper, that like then, “we may well be casting the vote on whether a much wider war takes place, and whether American weapons go that result in the death of thousands of innocent people.”

A number of other Democrat Representatives campaigning for a “no” vote are cited:

• Texas’s Joaquin Castro calls this a “defining vote.… We’re either going to participate in the carnage, or we’re not.”

• California’s Ro Khanna: “I understand the need for defensive weapons for Israel, particularly in light of the attack by Iran. But there is no justification to provide bombs and weapons to Netanyahu to continue the war in Gaza that is killing thousands of innocent Palestinian women and children.”

• Vermont’s Becca Balint: “This is a moment for members of Congress who support a safe and secure Israel to send a message that giving Netanyahu more offensive weapons is not a path for peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. To give Netanyahu more offensive weapons at this stage, I believe, is to condone the destruction of Gaza that we’ve seen in the last six months. And it’s also a green light for an invasion of Rafah.” She specified that “the only way to get a course correction is for a sizable number within the Democratic caucus to say it must shift.” (The Times notes that she was the first Jewish member of Congress to call for a ceasefire.)

• Texas’s Greg Casar: “I hope this vote will show the world that there is a really significant segment of the United States that doesn’t want to see expanded and widening wars.”

The Representatives would fund replenishing Israel’s defense capabilities, the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, etc., but oppose funding offensive weaponry without conditions, according to this report.