What made the moment dramatically different, however, was that the Squad wasn’t isolated, but instead was part of a sizable group pushing back. Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota rose to slam the assault on Gaza, as did Reps. Andre Carson of Indiana, Chuy Garcia of Illinois, and Joaquin Castro of Texas.
As chair of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, McCollum had influence over U.S. foreign military aid. “The unrestricted, unconditioned $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid . . . gives a green light to Israel’s occupation of Palestine because there is no accountability and there is no oversight by Congress,” McCollum said. “This must change. Not one dollar of U.S. aid to Israel should go toward a military detention of Palestinian children, the annexation of Palestinian lands, or the destruction of Palestinian homes.”
Castro thanked Tlaib for her presence, agreeing with her statement, “My mere existence has disrupted the status quo.” He seemed to address Israeli leaders directly when he said that “creeping de facto annexation is unjust.” “The forced eviction of families in Jerusalem is wrong,” Castro said from the floor, offering what would have been an uncontroversial assertion most anywhere else, but that was a foreign one to the House floor.