Biden Administration to Move Forward with New Arms Deal Days After Pausing Weapons Shipment to Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration told key lawmakers they are planning to move forward with a new $1 billion arms deal for Israel, according to Congressional sources. 

The Wall Street Journal first reported the arms sale on Tuesday, just days after the Biden Administration announced it would pause a different shipment of roughly 3,500 bombs to Israel, citing concerns about how they’d be used in the densely populated city of Rafah. 

The pause came after months of warnings from the U.S to Israel to refrain from a full-scale offensive into Rafah and to make adequate preparations before any ground operation into the city, where over one million Palestinians are sheltering. 

Biden’s withholding of the bombs was met with sharp criticism by many Republicans, and even some Democrats on Capitol Hill. 

“On October 7th, it was Hamas and not Israel that launched a horrifying terror attack that took thousands of lives and innocent people hostage,” said Rep. Nick Langworthy (R- NY) during floor remarks Wednesday. “President Biden is just not flouting the will of Congress and the American people, but he is also kowtowing to the radical left that frankly has embraced the anti-Israel movement wholeheartedly.” 

Recent polls and swing state primary results show Biden losing support, primarily among younger voters, over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war. 

“At some point you either got to put up or shut up,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA). “If you’re going to say something that you’re going to do, then do what you say. Don’t keep pushing it back and forth.” 

Kelly believes the President should focus less on the polls and stay consistent with support for Israel. 

“I think when it comes to President Biden, he’s the President that’s always chasing polls and not chasing policy. He changes, and that’s a bad situation to be in,” said Kelly. 

Biden’s move also drew criticism from Senator John Fetterman (D- PA), one of the most vocal Democratic supporters for Israel in Congress. 

Last week on X, formerly known as Twitter, Fetterman said “Hard disagree and deeply disappointing” when responding to Biden’s pause. Fetterman calls the humanitarian situation in Gaza, heartbreaking, but has consistently said it’s up to Hamas to end the war. 

This week, House Republicans are pushing forward with the Israel Security Assistance Support Act. The legislation calls for the “expeditious delivery” of defense articles and services to Israel, while reaffirming Israel’s right to self-defense. 

The legislation has been criticized by many Democrats. In a statement, the White House called it an “unnecessary and unwise bill.” Some Democrats believe it’s a misleading measure being used to score political points. 

This week, the White House reaffirmed support for Israel and said they’re talking with the Israeli government about their concerns in Rafah. 

“We are continuing to send military assistance, and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplemental. We have paused a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday. 

The new sale that is reportedly in the works includes $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds. Congress still has to be officially notified of the sale and would need to sign off on it before the ammunition and vehicles are sent to Israel. 

The deal is not part of the $95 billion foreign aid package recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The package included $26 billion in aid for Israel.