Congress May Not Be Able to Assist Israel without a Speaker

( – Operations of the House of Representatives have mostly come to a halt after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his position on October 3. With just eight Republicans joining all the Democrats to vacate the chair, the House adjourned for the rest of the week.

Many lawmakers left Washington D.C. to attend the funeral of California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who died on September 29. On October 7, Hamas terrorists launched an attack on Israel, leaving thousands of people dead, including American citizens. The media and many lawmakers expressed concern about Congress’ ability to aid Israel after the deadliest attack in the nation’s history.

The House came back into session the following week with Representative Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., serving as Speaker Pro Tempore. With his power limited, any resolutions the House passes could be legally challenged and reversed. However, lawmakers are anxious to pass a resolution condemning Hamas for the attacks. Representative Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., blasted the eight Republican lawmakers who cost McCarthy his speakership. He called for the House to “immediately reinstate McCarthy and stop screwing around.”

Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led the fight to oust McCarthy, brushed off suggestions that the United States would be unable to assist Israel during an October 8 Meet the Press interview on MSNBC. He referred to a statement released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which confirmed the Biden administration’s commitment to meeting the needs of Israel.

While Democrats made McCarthy’s ouster a reality, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries was not asked by CNN if he regretted going along with the motion to vacate. Jeffries told CNN that “there will likely be a need for some additional appropriations” for Israel. McCarthy held a press briefing on October 9 to discuss the attacks on Israel, outlining the actions that needed to be taken immediately. McCarthy said that the House cannot do anything until a House Speaker is elected. He did not rule out vying for the position again but said that it was not his decision.

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