House Passes Bill Despite Biden’s Protests

( – The US House of Representatives, with its slight Republican majority, defied the Biden administration’s wishes by passing the ICC sanctions bill on June 4th.

The bill threatens the International Criminal Court (ICC) with sanctions after its highly controversial decision to request warrants for the arrest of key Israeli leaders. The bill will institute sanctions against the court if it engages in efforts to investigate or bring charges against protected people in the US and among its allies. It requires the president to restrict transactions related to US interests held by any offending member of the ICC. It will also impose visa restrictions on guilty parties.

205 Republicans and 42 Democrats signed the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act. It will now head to the US Senate. President Joe Biden is against the bill despite vehement claims that he also opposes the ICC’s decision. The White House called their arrest warrant applications “outrageous” while promising to stand with Israel in its fight against Hamas.

The bill was originally introduced by Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) in early May. He said it was in response to actions the ICC plans to take against Israeli officials over their war against Palestine. Roy said it will send a message to ICC officials that the US government will not tolerate their outrageous attacks on Israel.” However, he also said that it’s about more than Israel: it’s also about protecting US sovereignty and soldiers. He then said that Congress must take action since the White House is “absent decisive leadership.”

Karim Khan, the current ICC chief prosecutor, submitted the arrest warrant requests on May 20th. They claimed to have evidence that Israeli leaders violated international laws. He also requested arrest warrants for prominent Hamas leaders.

The Biden administration claimed there were “more effective ways” for the US to deal with the ICC while claiming Roy’s bill is too broad. However, it didn’t offer any solutions of its own and only claimed that it “stands ready” to collaborate with Congress.

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