House Passes ICC Bill

On Tuesday afternoon, the House voted to pass Rep. Chip Roy’s (R-TX) H.R.8282, the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, with a vote tally of 247-155 and 2 Republicans voting “present.” The bill, co-sponsored by Roy and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), gained significant traction following news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

The bill aims to “impose sanctions with respect to the International Criminal Court engaged in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person of the United States and its allies.”

Rep. Roy, a member of the House Rules Committee, emphasized the bipartisan nature of the bill during his speech on the House floor, stating, “This is an issue that really shouldn’t be partisan.” He highlighted that the bill seeks to ensure the protection of America’s interests and allies, not just Israel. Roy underscored the unprecedented nature of the ICC’s actions against sitting officials in Israel and the need for a permanent legislative change to counter such moves.

Despite opposition from the Biden administration, which does not support the sanctions bill, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) revealed that initial bipartisan support from the White House had shifted. McCaul noted that the administration reversed its stance on May 28, much to the disappointment of bipartisan supporters like Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).

McCaul also pointed out that neither the United States nor Israel are members of the ICC, a sentiment echoed by Rep. Roy. House Republican leaders, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), held a press conference addressing the bill and criticized the ICC’s actions as “unconscionable,” warning that the ICC could target Americans in the future.

Among the Democrats supporting the bill were Reps. Brendan Boyle (PA), Yadira Caraveo (CO), Henry Cuellar (TX), and many others, including those considered pro-Israel or vulnerable in the upcoming elections. Reps. Warren Davidson (R-OH) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) voted “present.”

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also advocated for the bill, highlighting her efforts alongside New York Republicans to urge President Biden to oppose the ICC’s actions. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) also sent a letter to Biden in early May, urging opposition to the ICC’s arrest warrants.

The passage of H.R.8282 reflects a strong bipartisan stance against the ICC’s actions and represents a significant legislative response to protect U.S. and allied officials from what many lawmakers view as overreach by the international body.


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