October 25, 2023
Rep. Pressley’s Statement on H.Res.771
WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement regarding her PRESENT vote on H.Res.771.
“I unequivocally condemn Hamas and the October 7 terrorist attack where Hamas murdered more than 1,400 Israelis, including children and elders. The grief and trauma it has caused for the Israeli and Jewish communities in my district and beyond is palpable, and my heart breaks for the victims, as well as those held hostage by Hamas, their loved ones, and everyone who feels vulnerable in the wake of this attack.
“I am also devastated by the death of more than 6,000 innocent Palestinian civilians who have been egregiously killed by Israeli airstrikes the last 17 days. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening daily, and millions of Palestinian civilians continue to lack access to food, fuel, and safe drinking water. There are many U.S. citizens, including constituents from Massachusetts like the Okal family and their one-year-old baby, who remain stranded in Gaza and who have faced relentless bombing as they try to flee for safety.
“I have serious concerns about the dated text of this resolution and its clear omissions.
“Congressional intent is significant, and I voted present today because I could not in good conscience support an outdated resolution that fails to acknowledge the overwhelming loss of Palestinian life and the consequential moment we find ourselves in.
“As a woman of faith, I see this issue clearly: saving civilian lives—including the Israeli and American hostages and the Palestinian families trapped in Gaza—must be the priority. Our shared humanity is on the line and every action taken by Congress in this moment should be in pursuit of peace, not further escalating the conflict by endorsing the military response in this resolution without caveats.
“I continue to call for de-escalation and an urgent ceasefire to save lives and facilitate the safe return of hostages, the evacuation of Americans, and the delivery of humanitarian aid. I stand ready to advance policies that end the cycle of violence and hold space for every precious life and those feeling deeply vulnerable in this moment.”
Rep. Pressley joined Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-MI) and their colleagues on a resolution condemning Hamas’ brutal attack and hostage-taking, and demanding Hamas immediately release all hostages.
Rep. Pressley joined her colleagues in announcing a resolution urging the Biden Administration to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, to send humanitarian aid and assistance to Gaza, and to save as many lives as possible. She later joined her colleagues and a multi-faith, multiracial coalition of faith leaders and organizers for a prayer and press conference to renew their calls for a ceasefire.
Rep. Pressley joined Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), James P. McGovern (MA-02), and 50 colleagues on a letter condemning the terrorist attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel, calling for Israeli military operations to follow the rules of international humanitarian law, and continuing to work toward peace in the region.
Rep. Pressley joined Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), and nearly 150 colleagues in urging the State Department to use all tools at its disposal help get Americans out of Israel and back home to the United States. She applauded the State Department for heeding her calls on October 12, 2023 and continues to press for the urgent evacuation of Americans in Gaza.