House Republican says Biden’s weapon halt threat is for ‘political reasons’

Republican Rep. Mike Waltz (Fla.) alleged Sunday that President Biden’s threat to halt weapons to Israel is politically motivated, with the November election less than six months away.

“I think the reality of us being in an election year now and the election just six months away … I think you have kind of a political and an operation reality there. But … he certainly is withholding aid, and he is obviously doing it for political reasons,” Waltz said Sunday in an interview on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday.”

Biden warned earlier this week that he would stop supplying Israel with offensive weapons — including bombs and artillery shells — if Israeli forces launch a full-scale invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza. The White House has repeatedly cautioned against sending forces into Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians are seeking shelter amid the war.

Netanyahu has maintained going into Rafah is needed to eliminate the threat of Hamas, and Israel ordered new evacuations in the southern city over the weekend.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, one of the major aid groups providing food, shelter and medicine to Palestinians, said “at least” 300,000 people are affected by the new evacuation orders.

NewsNation anchor Chris Stirewalt then noted the U.S. has a “responsibility” to monitor and direct how its allies use the weapons it provides them.

“Oh, of course. We have weapon-use monitoring all over the world,” Waltz said. “But in this case, if you look at … I mean, he’s making this kind of ridiculous distinction. He actually made it in the run-up to the Ukraine conflict, as well, of offensive and defensive weaponry.”

The Florida Republican argued Biden’s threat could be counterintuitive.

“It’s not going to get Biden what he wants. It’s only angering the supporters of Israel who do believe, as I do, you have to destroy Hamas. You cannot allow them to survive another day. And I just don’t think it’s going to get us to a reasonable result of resolution,” Waltz said.

The Hill reached out to the White House for further comment.

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