House Speaker McCarthy Establishes House-Knesset Friendship Group
JERUSALEM — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the Knesset on May 1 that he would establish “a House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group” to “strengthen our bonds, build mutual understanding as elected representatives and work better together, democracy to democracy.”
According to Britannica, the Knesset, (Hebrew: “Assembly”) is the unicameral parliament of Israel and the supreme authority of that state. The 120-member Knesset is elected every four years under a system that provides for proportional representation for even quite small political parties.
On July 28, McCarthy named 12 members of the group, which he called “an exciting new chapter” in the “growing partnership and enduring friendship between Israel and America.”
“For the first time in history, the 435 members of the House and the 120 members of the Knesset have a forum to engage directly with one another, seek solutions that benefit our nations, and faithfully represent our peoples’ hopes and dreams together,” McCarthy stated.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative we show the rest of the world that the United States stands firmly with our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East, Israel,” said Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), who is chairing the group.
The other 11 members of the group are Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), John James (R-Mich.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Nikema Williams (D-Ga.).
“The special relationship between our two nations is anchored in our shared democratic values and strategic interests,” said House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). “It is this relationship that the members of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group will strengthen as they come together with our Israeli counterparts.”
Wikipedia says that McCarthy was the Republican nominee for speaker in January 2023, but failed to win the speakership until the 15th ballot. As speaker, after a standoff between the McCarthy-led House Republican conference and the Biden administration, McCarthy and the Biden administration negotiated to resolve the 2023 debt-ceiling crisis and prevent what would have been a first-ever national default.
“To resolve the crisis, the parties negotiated the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which passed with bipartisan support in Congress before Biden signed it into law,” said Wikipedia.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich