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Press Release Published: May 10, 2024

Comer & Oversight Republicans Probe President Biden on Withholding Aid to Israel, Manipulative Announcement Timing

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Oversight Committee Republicans are probing the Biden Administration over its political games and manipulative timing surrounding the decision to withhold critical military assistance to Israel. In a letter to Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Jake Sullivan, the lawmakers are requesting a briefing and information on President Biden’s decision to withhold military aid from Israel and attempt to hide this information from the American people until after President Biden delivered his speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The Committee is alarmed by the Biden Administration’s willingness to play political games with U.S. taxpayer funded assistance going to Israel. President Biden signed off on a pause of a weapons delivery to Israel, a longtime U.S. ally. Given President Biden’s scheduled speech on Tuesday, May 8, 2024, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House Security Council reportedly chose to keep news of this decision to withhold vital military support out of the public’s attention until after his remarks,” wrote the lawmakers. “The Committee seeks a briefing, as well as documents and information related to this decision, including any legal justification for withholding essential supplies from Israel in its fight against Hamas terrorists who still have Israeli and American hostages.”

On May 9, 2024, President Biden made public that he would not supply offensive weapons that Israel could use in its offensive on Rafah—the last major Hamas stronghold in Gaza. Further reporting indicates that the National Security Council actively chose to withhold this information from the public eye for days, in part so that news of the decision would not be known when President Biden delivered a speech touting support for Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The Committee finds both the decision to withhold essential military aid and hiding that decision from the public for political purposes disturbing, especially given that on President Biden’s first day in office, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pledged that the administration would, ‘bring transparency and truth back to government,’” continued the lawmakers. “The Biden Administration’s priorities appear to be motivated by public perception, and not what is best for national security or diplomacy.”

Read the letter to Mr. Sullivan here.