Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday the Senate must take the lead in passing aid for Israel as the GOP-led House works to unify amid a vacancy in the Speaker’s chair.
Schumer said Monday on the floor he will work with the Biden administration to craft an emergency supplemental package to provide Israel with the “tools it needs to defend itself.” That includes “military assistance, intelligence assistance, diplomatic assistance” and humanitarian assistance.
“We want to move this package quickly. The Senate must go first,” Schumer said before pointing to “disarray” in the House as Republicans struggle to unify behind a new leader following a historic ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this month.
“As the Senate gavels back in for our full work period, supporting Israel must be at the top at the front at the center of our attention,” Schumer said. He also called on members to support a bipartisan resolution “condemning Hamas and affirming that we stand with Israel and their right to defend themselves.”
Many House Republicans are hopeful they’ll be able to install a new leader this week, and momentum is building for Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) Speakership bid.
“You can’t open the House and do the work of the American people and help our dearest and closest friend Israel if you don’t have a Speaker,” Jordan told reporters Monday before voicing optimism about his chances ahead of an expected vote to elect a Speaker on Tuesday.
“We get the House open and we get to work on the resolution and supplemental for Israel, and we get back to work for the American people,” Jordan said. “And that’s what I’m committed to doing.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also called on the U.S. to reaffirm its “commitment to Israel’s security” in remarks from the floor later Monday.
“This is not merely a terrorist war against Israel. It’s part of a clear and present danger to the United States and the entire civilized world,” he said.