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April 19, 2024

Pressley Files Amendments to Surge Global Humanitarian Aid, Restrict Offensive Weapons to Israeli Military

Amendments to Drastically Increase Humanitarian Assistance, Impose One-Year Moratorium on Offensive Weapons Transfers to IDF

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) filed an amendment to increase funding to global humanitarian assistance and an amendment to place a one-year moratorium on the transfer of offensive weapons to the Israeli military.

“We find ourselves at a critical inflection point and every action taken by policymakers in this moment must be in pursuit of peace, de-escalation, and saving lives,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Our amendments would help deliver desperately needed humanitarian assistance and stop the flow of offensive weapons that have been used by the Israeli military to kill Palestinians en masse.”

The first amendment filed by Rep. Pressley would drastically increase the amount of humanitarian aid in the bill from $9.1 billion to $26.4 billion. This humanitarian aid would be used to address the worsening crises in Gaza and Ukraine, as well as in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and others.

The second amendment filed would prevent the United States from sending offensive weapons to the Israeli military for one year. The amendment would allow the United States to continue providing missile defense systems to Israel, including the Iron Dome. The amendment comes amidst rising tensions in the Middle East, over 34,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza, 1,200 Israelis killed in Hamas’s horrific October attack, more than 100 hostages still held captive by Hamas, and millions of Gazans on the brink of famine.  

Since the horrific October 7th attack, Congresswoman Pressley has consistently and stridently called for a ceasefire to save lives, return all hostages, and surge humanitarian aid to Gaza. This week, Rep. Pressley delivered a floor speech in which she called or urgent de-escalation in the Middle East and renewed her calls for a ceasefire in Gaza to prevent a broader regional war.

As Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus, Rep. Pressley has also led calls for extending Temporary Protected Status for Haiti, a halt to deportations, a Haitian-led democratic transition, the delivery of humanitarian, economic and security assistance to the island, and more.

Throughout the Israel and Hamas conflict, Rep. Pressley has been a vocal and consistent advocate of diplomacy, de-escalation, and saving lives.

  • 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 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 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 also joined dozens of rabbis and Members of Congress for a press conference to renew calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Rep. Pressley delivered a floor speech in which she condemned antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of hate on college campuses.
  • Rep. Pressley joined a coalition of nearly 100 interfaith clergy and faith leaders on a joint statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • 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.
  • Rep. Pressley issued a statement following the safe evacuation of Massachusetts constituents Wafaa and Abood Okal and their one-year-old Yousef from Gaza.
  • Rep. Pressley and Rep. Jamie Raskin led a group of 60 House lawmakers in urging the State Department to affirm the United States’ strong opposition to the forced and permanent displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, and to support an increase in humanitarian aid to the region.
  • Rep. Pressley joined Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Betty McCollum (MN-4) and 20 of their colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden, asking him to support a bilateral ceasefire in Gaza to protect the one million children living there.
  • Rep. Pressley joined a coalition of interfaith clergy and faith leaders for a vigil to mourn the tens of thousands of Palestinians, Israelis, and innocent civilians killed since October 7th, and to renew calls for a ceasefire to save lives, return all hostages, and deliver humanitarian aid to the region.
  • Rep. Pressley joined her colleagues at a press conference to condemn the Israeli government’s pending invasion of Rafah and continued her calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Rep. Pressley joined her colleagues in calling for full funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide urgent humanitarian relief to Gaza.
  • Rep. Pressley joined Representatives Joaquín Castro, Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky and 33 House Democrats to President Biden urging him to prevent an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah.
  • Rep. Pressley, amid heightened tensions in the region, delivered a floor speech in which she called for urgent de-escalation in the Middle East and renewed her calls for a ceasefire in Gaza to prevent a broader regional war.