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George Latimer, left, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, right

On April 21, the U.S. The House of Representatives passed a $95 billion package of bi-partisan foreign aid bills that provide supplemental appropriations for defense assistance to allies and partners in need. Westchester Congressman Jamaal Bowman voted against two priorites supported by President Biden, voting no on the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act providing support to Israel, humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as the 21st Century Peace through Strength Act. 

Rep. Bowman also voted no on a resolution condemning Iran’s recent attacks against Israel.

In a Thursday statement, Bowman said he “unequivocally” condemns Iran’s recent attack, just as he also condemns a suspected earlier attack by Israel, which is “why” he “voted against the resolution.”

President Biden has made it clear that he does not support escalating violence in the Middle East, which this resolution will contribute to by supporting further military action,” Bowman continued in his statement. “We must do everything in our power to end the ongoing violence, pursue a lasting ceasefire, and save civilian lives. Instead of pushing resolutions that fan the flames of war, Congress should recognize all of the lives that have been lost, both Palestinian and Israeli. We have a moral responsibility to govern in a way that centers those most impacted and nurtures humanity instead of succumbing to more warmongering and violence.”

Bowman’s opponent in the June democratic primary, Congressional candidate and Westchester County Executive George Latimer said Bowman voted “with MAGA extremists” on one bill. “Today, the US took a crucial step to advance a global security package, sending a clear message to our allies in the fight against terror and international drug cartels that we stand with them and will support them in their time of need.

“Our current representative, Jamaal Bowman, wrongly stood against over 80% of Congressional Democrats and President Biden, voting no on two of four critical bills. I am running for this seat because we  – and our allies around the world – deserve better. 

“Mr. Bowman voted against Iron Dome funding, which was vital in repelling Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel this week. Earlier this week, he voted against terminating the tax-exempt status of terrorist-supporting organizations. And even as Iranian militants took to the streets to chant “Death to America,” he voted against condemning Iran’s attack.

“Now he has gone even further, voting with MAGA extremists against fighting global fentanyl trafficking, voting against sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran, and against protecting Americans’ data from foreign adversaries. 

“These bills were all supported by President Biden and over 80% of Congressional Democrats. And with each vote, Bowman once more shows that he is more interested in making a statement than supporting our President or his colleagues when it matters most.

“We need to build unity and find common ground to deliver good foreign policy. We need leadership to support bi-partisan solutions to challenges facing the safety and security of our nation’s closest allies. We need to defend democracy.”

Bowman voted yes on two appropriations bills. One for aid to Ukraine and another for aid to Taiwan. “Our government has a moral obligation to protect peace, dignity, and our shared humanity in everything we do,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. “I was proud to vote in support of Ukraine and Taiwan’s efforts to uphold democracy. Thanks in large part to the advocacy of progressives in Congress, who did not want to see aid to protect democracies tied to Netanyahu’s indiscriminate assault on civilians, we were able to register our unwavering support for Ukraine and Taiwan with separate bills. The nearly $70 billion in assistance to these nations is a critical step towards preserving democracy at home and abroad.”

“I am also inspired to see 36 of my Democratic colleagues join our movement for peace by refusing to send billions more in weapons to support Netanyahu’s killing of innocent civilians. Since day one, we have said that our approach to the conflict in the Middle East must be rooted in peace and deescalation, including an immediate and permanent ceasefire and release of all hostages. This is the only solution that can truly save civilian lives. As the calls for deescalation of violence and lasting peace grow louder and stronger, we must continue our push for an immediate ceasefire and lasting peace that centers the dignity and humanity of Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike.”