U.S. Leaders Focused on De-Escalation Following Iran Attack, Lawmakers Weigh Legislative Options for Israel Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the weekend, Iran launched a large-scale attack on Israel.  

Both countries have been on a collision course since the October 7 attacks on Israel were carried out by Hamas and other militant groups backed by Iran. 99% of the 300 or so drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted, according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 

The attack happened less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building.  

U.S. leaders are now exploring ways to further support Israel and hold Iran accountable without further escalation. 

Senator Bob Casey and Republican Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA) emphasized that the U.S. will continue to stand with Israel and support its defense. 

“With support from the United States, Israel shot down almost all of the Iranian drones, avoiding a mass attack and once again proving its strength. The United States must continue to stand with Israel. Our strong partnership should be a deterrence to our shared adversaries,” said Casey in a statement on X over the weekend. 

“Iran’s direct attack on Israel is the latest provocation against America’s top ally in the Middle East. The U.S. must continue to stand with Israel. Additionally, the Biden Administration must stand against Iran and demonstrate the ironclad relationship the U.S. has with Israel,” said Kelly in a social media post on Saturday. 

Many Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are calling on House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA) to bring up the $95 billion foreign aid package that combines aid for Israel and Ukraine. The legislation has been stalled in the House since it passed the Senate in February. Hardline conservatives in the House have urged Speaker Johnson against attaching Ukraine funding to any Israel aid.  

As Congress explores a path forward, President Biden is focusing on de-escalation. Biden hosted Iraq’s prime minister on Monday as his administration looks to prevent further escalation in the Middle East.  

“In the 36 hours since, we have been coordinating a diplomatic response to seek to prevent escalation. Strength and wisdom need to be the different sides of the same coin,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who called the attack “unprecedented.” 

“This was an attack unprecedented in its scope and in its scale. In its scope, because it represented the first direct attack by Iran on Israel. And in scale because, as I said, there were more than 300 munitions fired, including ballistic missiles,” said Blinken. 

House Republicans are unveiling a slate of bills this week that seek to crack down on Iran and show support for Israel. The House Republican Conference is scheduled to meet Monday evening to discuss the Iran-Israel situation and their legislative plans going forward.