“Each U.S.-made or funded bomb dropped in Gaza further jeopardizes the chances of long-lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” said Rep. Delia Ramirez.

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

A Republican effort to push through a standalone military aid package for Israel failed to clear the U.S. House on Tuesday, with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus condemning the proposed $17.6 billion in unconditional assistance for a government that stands accused on the world stage of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.

ro khanna and AOC voting no on Israel aid

The legislation, which President Joe Biden threatened to veto if it reached his desk, needed two-thirds support to pass the House under a suspension of the rules. The final tally was 250 to 180, with 166 Democrats and 14 Republicans voting no.

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) said in a statement that “under no circumstances” could she have voted for the legislation, which House Republican leaders sought to advance ahead of the Senate’s planned procedural vote on a broader package that includes military aid to Israel and Ukraine and a border agreement that would dramatically weaken asylum protections.

“The death toll in Gaza continues to rise. Gazans are starving,” Ramirez said late Tuesday. “Over 1.5 million people have been displaced. Hostilities between the U.S. and Iran are escalating. And just this morning, The New York Times reported that one-fifth of the hostages still in captivity since the start of the conflict have likely died. We must change course.”

“The supplemental funding proposed, which includes no humanitarian aid for Gaza nor assistance for Ukraine, supports weapons of war and destruction that further jeopardize Israeli hostages and Palestinian civilians,” she continued. “Each U.S.-made or funded bomb dropped in Gaza further jeopardizes the chances of long-lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: I will only support actions that bring us closer to peace.”

In a brief floor speech ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) described standalone Israel aid legislation as a “blank check for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu” and other far-right officials seeking the permanent removal of Palestinians from Gaza.

If passed, the aid measure would have allowed the U.S. State Department to waive congressional notification requirements for billions of dollars in U.S. military financing for Israel, which has massacred Gaza civilians with American-made weaponry.

“I will vote no because it is painfully obvious to the entire world that what is needed today is a permanent cease-fire and a release of all hostages,” Khannas said. “There come moments in a nation’s history when our actions reveal our values. This is such a moment.”

The failure of the Israel aid bill came shortly after House Republicans also fell short in their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) wrote in response to the Mayorkas vote that “Republicans are deeply disconnected from the people.”

“They’re not serious about fixing our immigration system, they have no plan to improve folks’ lives, and they keep wasting our time with political stunts like these,” Pressley added. “This sham, failed impeachment is just the latest example.”

Senate Republicans on Wednesday are expected to block consideration of the broader supplemental security package over the border agreement, which they claim isn’t sufficiently harsh—a position right in line with that of former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.