Senators on Foreign Relations panel to unveil resolution supporting Israel

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho), the ranking Republican on the panel, will introduce a bipartisan resolution supporting Israel when the Senate returns to Washington next week.

The noncontroversial measure is expected to pass the Senate easily by unanimous consent.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization and its brazen acts of terrorism against civilians must be met with a united response that strongly underscores America’s unwavering support for the people of Israel,” Cardin said in a statement. “The U.S. Congress is unified in working to support our ally, and to send a clear message to the world that terrorism against innocents will not be tolerated.

“I look forward to swiftly introducing a bipartisan resolution when the Senate reconvenes to demonstrate our ironclad support for Israel’s security,” he said.

Moving a measure through the House is a more complicated question because of the lack of a Speaker, which has essentially frozen work in the lower chamber. Republicans voted to nominate Rep. Steve Scalise (La.) as their Speaker on Wednesday, but it is not clear he can win enough support to win the Speakership on the floor.

The Senate resolution is certain to have the support of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a strong ally of Israel’s, who is cutting short a trip to Asia to return to New York on Thursday to respond to the unfolding crisis in Israel.

Risch said U.S. military support to Israel is “already on the way” and pledged “Congress will work to speed up additional assistance as quickly as possible.”

“I will also continue to press the administration to cut off Iranian resources that fuel these attacks. The days ahead will be tough but the United States will continue to support our partner until the job is done and Israel’s citizens are safe.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) has asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to share with Israel two Iron Dome missile-defense batteries that the U.S. Army has in its possession but are not being deployed.

Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) say they will ask for unanimous consent next week to approve legislation that would fund $6 billion in Iranian funds being held in Qatar that the Biden administration agreed to release in exchange for the freedom of five American prisoners held by Iran.

A group of Senate Democrats, including Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), have called on the administration to freeze the Iranian assets.

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