Wasting no time, House and Senate Republicans are poised to mark the first day of the 115th Congress with resolutions condemning the U.N. Security Council’s latest anti-Israel vote.
Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, and Rep. Dennis Ross, Florida Republican, have announced that they will introduce Tuesday companion resolutions denouncing the U.N. measure describing Israeli settlements as illegal.
Republicans and even some Democrats have weighed in against U.N. Resolution 2234, which was approved 14-0 after the Obama administration refused to veto the Dec. 23 measure.
Mr. Moran said the abstention came as the latest of the Obama administration’s “series of misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the Middle East.”
“The incoming administration will have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama has done,” Mr. Moran said in a statement. “The resolution I introduce next week when Congress reconvenes will express the sense of the Senate that we stand in support of Israel and disapprove of the U.N.’s actions.”
Said Mr. Ross: “Instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our closest ally and vetoing this dangerous resolution, the U.S., under the direction of President Obama, broke its strong and well-established commitment to Israel.”
Such a congressional resolution could present a dilemma for Democrats such as Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who had urged the Democratic administration to veto the resolution and then ripped Secretary of State John Kerry for his speech last week defending the abstention.
“While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the U.N., has emboldened extremists on both sides,” Mr. Schumer, the incoming Senate minority leader, said in a Wednesday statement.
Mr. Kerry refused to back down from the administration’s withholding of its veto, arguing that the settlements are impeding prospects for peace and a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
“In the end, we could not in good conscience protect the most extreme elements of the settler movement as it tries to destroy the two-state solution,” Mr. Kerry said.
At least two Republicans, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have called for defunding the U.N. until the resolution is repealed.
The federal government contributes $3 billion annually to the U.N., representing about 22 percent of its yearly budget.