Biden, again, bypasses Congress to sell weapons to Israel

 December 31, 2023

President Joe Biden has, once again, bypassed Congress with an emergency weapons sale to Israel. 

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. State Department announced the weapons sale on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023.

The first one came on Dec. 9, 2023. It was worth over $106 million, and it included some 14,000 rounds of ammunition for tanks.

These weapons sales come as Israel continues to wage war on Hamas, following the deadly attack that the terrorist group launched on the Israeli people on Oct. 7, 2023.

The latest sale

The latest weapons sale that the Biden administration has made to Israel is reported, by ABC News, to be worth $147.5 million.

The outlet reports:

The State Department said Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had told Congress that he had made a second emergency determination covering a $147.5 million sale for equipment, including fuses, charges, and primers, that is needed to make the 155 mm shells that Israel has already purchased function.

ABC News goes on to quote the State Department.

"Given the urgency of Israel’s defensive needs, the secretary notified Congress that he had exercised his delegated authority to determine an emergency existed necessitating the immediate approval of the transfer," the department said.

It added, "The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to ensure Israel is able to defend itself against the threats it faces."

Why is Biden bypassing Congress?

Ordinarily, according to the delegation of powers specified by the U.S. Constitution, Congress would have to review and approve such a sale of military weapons to a foreign entity.

Here, however, Biden has bypassed this review process. He has done so by invoking the executive's emergency powers. He is claiming that the situation between Israel and Hamas is such an emergency that there is no time to go through the usual congressional review process.

Whether this is indeed the case - whether Biden has a legitimate reason to bypass Congress - is something for you, the reader to decide.

Before these emergency weapons sales to Israel, Biden did ask Congress to provide assistance to Israel, but he did so at the same time that he asked Congress to provide assistance for Ukraine in its war with Russia. For this reason, lawmakers - particularly lawmakers on the Republican side of the aisle - refused to grant Biden's request.

The Associated Press reports:

Both moves have come as President Joe Biden’s request for a nearly $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security needs remains stalled in Congress, caught up in a debate over U.S. immigration policy and border security.

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