U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) joined with fellow Democrats like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) to block a bill to send $17.6 billion in aid to Israel as it continues battling the terror organization Hamas. While the bill had the support of a 250-180 majority, it needed a two-thirds vote under House rules to pass.
Kuster’s Granite State colleague, Rep. Chris Pappas, was one of 46 Democrats to support the Israel funding despite a veto threat from President Joe Biden.
Kuster has often cast votes viewed as anti-Israel, including voting no to a bipartisan $14.3 billion bill in November giving aid to the Jewish state. She also voted against an anti-BDS bill and lobbied to keep Omar from being punished by House leadership after making antisemitic comments.
Kuster released a statement Tuesday night explaining her vote. “I stand with Israel and its right to defend itself,” Kuster insisted. But she also suggested Israel might be responsible for the violence of the Oct. 7 terror attack.
“Israel will not be secure so long as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank continues. Terrorist groups like Hamas thrive under chaos and despair, fueling further conflict and emboldening bad actors around the world,” Kuster wrote. “The misguided proposal considered by the House today does not include any humanitarian aid for Gaza, jeopardizing innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives.”
When hundreds of Hamas terrorists and militant Gazans swarmed into Israel to slaughter more than 1,200 people and some 230 hostages, Israel was not occupying Gaza. Instead, thousands of Palestinians were coming to Israel to work and bring a paycheck home to Gaza.
Kuster would not respond to NHJournal requesting clarification.
Pappas didn’t release a statement about his vote in favor of the aid. Just moments before the vote on Israel, Pappas voted with all of his fellow Democrats against the GOP’s attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He’s best known for insisting “the border is closed” at a time when hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were crossing every month.
I’m “disappointed from some of what I’ve seen from [Mayorkas], but I think that disagreement in terms of job performance is not an impeachable offense,” Pappas told Fox News. “We should be giving him the tools he needs to do the job.”
Republicans argue both Biden and Mayorkas have had the tools; they just refuse to do the work of securing the border.
“Chris Pappas had the chance to fire Mayorkas but voted instead to keep him on the job,” noted the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
“Chris Pappas cares more about saving Joe Biden’s Secretary of Open Borders than securing New Hampshirites’ and Americans’ safety from terrorists, fentanyl traffickers and criminal illegal immigrants. This is just the latest extreme, anti-border security vote from Pappas,” said NRCC spokeswoman Savannah Viar.