House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is not holding back in his criticism of the Biden Administration’s handling of the recent attacks on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. With at least 40 people dead and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring the country at war, Scalise is demanding accountability. First, he condemned the attacks on the now-defunct Twitter (X), and then he set his sights on President Biden for a prisoner swap deal with Iran that resulted in freeing up $6 billion in oil revenue. These funds were supposed to be strictly used for humanitarian aid, but Scalise accuses the Biden Administration of appeasing the Hamas terrorists by handing over billions of dollars.
Scalise calls for Biden to be held accountable for Hamas attack – https://t.co/PCumgGlriW
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 7, 2023
Scalise’s vocal condemnation comes at a significant time as he is vying to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. He has long been a prominent figure in Republican leadership, and it seems he is using this opportunity to flex his political muscles. Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, another potential Speaker candidate, also launched a verbal attack on Biden, pointing out the dangers of providing ransom payments to Iran, which ultimately end up in the hands of Hamas. Hern called the attack a “brutal terrorist assault” and questioned how much of Biden’s $6 billion ransom payment has gone to the Palestinian militant group.
In contrast, President Biden has yet to release a statement regarding the attacks, possibly due to his frosty relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This relationship grew even colder when news of the prisoner swap deal broke, with Netanyahu stating that the money would be used to support “terrorist elements sponsored by Iran.” However, top officials from the Biden administration have voiced their strong condemnation of the attacks. National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson emphasized that there is “never any justification for terrorism” and expressed condolences for the lives lost. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has been in contact with Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken unequivocally denounced the attacks and stood in solidarity with Israel.
In these troubled times, it is evident that the conservative Republicans are not pulling any punches when it comes to holding the Biden Administration accountable for their actions regarding the attacks on Israel. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and other potential Speaker candidates like Rep. Kevin Hern are making their voices heard, demanding answers and criticizing what they see as appeasement towards terrorists. As tensions rise and the conflict escalates, it remains to be seen how the Biden Administration will respond and if their strategy will change in the face of mounting pressure.