(FiveNation.com)- House Democrats have decided to block what seems like a rather obvious move.
On Tuesday, they decided they won’t consider legislation that Republicans in the House were pushing that would put sanctions on militants from Hamas as the group fights with Israel. The United States officially recognizes Hamas as a terrorist organization.
The Republicans put forth a proposal called the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act. It was introduced by Representative Brian Mast from Florida.
The bill proposed to put sanctions on any foreign entity that is known to have already provided monetary assistance to the terrorist organization, along with some other measures. The bill didn’t even get to make its way to the debate floor, though, as it was voted down on party lines, 217-209.
Mast was trying to convince House Democrats to take up the bill when he said in a floor speech:
“Under my bill, the United States will sanction these groups that are supporting terrorism. Or, if we do not pass this bill, we will not stand together to sanction these groups that are enabling this terrorism.”
The worst part about the Democrats blocking the bill is that Mast was simply re-introducing the bill. Back in 2019, the bill passes unanimously in the House, but the Senate never took the bill up for a vote.
Republicans were trying to get the bill voted on quickly through a House procedure that’s called the previous question. If passed, it would have ended debate on the bill and brought it in front of House members for a vote immediately.
That didn’t happen, though, as Democrats decided the bill wasn’t worth a vote — despite many of them voting only two years ago to approve it.
Most Republicans were strongly in favor of the bill, including the leader of the GOP in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Mast had already written a letter to Gregory Meeks, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for an expedited vote on his proposal.
McCarthy, meanwhile, took to Twitter to speak his mind on the bill before the vote happened. He tweeted:
“The ongoing rocket attacks against Israeli civilians show why America must unequivocally support Israel, condemn Hamas, and sanction those who fund terrorism. That is why today @RepBrianMast will push for a vote on the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act.”
As the violence continues to rage on between Israelis and Hamas, the Biden administration has faced a lot of pressure to respond strongly. He has had multiple talks with the Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and is hoping the two sides will agree to a ceasefire.
Through it all, it seems to be lost on many Democrats that Hamas is officially recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States. This makes this situation quite different than just two foreign entities escalating violence.
It makes it even more confounding that Democrats would not want to prevent foreign entities from financially supporting a terrorist organization.