Schumer expresses ‘faith’ in Biden’s handling of Israel military aid

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters that he has “faith” in what President Biden is doing to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, including a decision to pause the delivery of 3,500 bombs as his administration assesses a potential Israeli invasion of Rafah.

“I believe that Israel and America have an ironclad relationship, and I have faith in what the Biden administration is doing,” Schumer said when asked if it is appropriate for the Biden administration to hold up the shipment of bombs amid intensifying opposition on the left to the war.

Republicans are excoriating Biden over withholding the munitions, which they argue were authorized and paid for in the $95 billion emergency foreign aid package Congress passed last month.

“A few days ago, we saw reports that the president was delaying weapons shipments to Israel, creating daylight between America and a close ally,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“The decision to pause these shipments was withheld from Congress — we still don’t know key facts,” he said.

“The president’s apparent inability to keep the most radical voices on his left flank out of the Situation Room isn’t just a shameful abdication of leadership — it’s dangerous,” McConnell added.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday that Israel needs to come up with plans to protect civilians in Rafah.

Israeli troops seized the Gaza border crossing at Rafah on Tuesday in anticipation of a possible invasion.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters last month that a ground invasion of Rafah would be “a mistake.”

Progressives are applauding Biden’s decision to hold up the arms shipment.

“Given the unprecedented humanitarian disaster that [Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin] Netanyahu’s war has created in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of children face starvation, President Biden is absolutely right to halt bomb delivery to this extreme, right-wing Israeli government,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.

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