Babin Seeks to Block Rashida Tlaib Trip to Palestine
Taxpayer-funded Trip Would Threaten Vital U.S.-Israel Relations and Middle East Security
Washington, January 17, 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) has requested each Democratic House Committee Chairman deny any request to authorize a taxpayer-funded Congressional delegation to Palestine as proposed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). Per House rules, each official Congressional delegation (CODEL), as well as each Member of Congress attending, must receive approval from a Committee Chairman. The text of each letter is below.
I am writing to express my extreme concern that a newly elected Member of Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, has plans to lead a taxpayer-funded Congressional delegation (CODEL) to Palestine. This action, from an outspoken supporter of the “BDS” Israeli boycott movement and whose personal vitriol led her to publicly brag about calling our President a “mother****er” to her young son, is both ill-conceived and inconsistent with our national values.
Israel is of vital importance to U.S. interests in the Middle East, a fact widely acknowledged on both sides of the aisle. Since Israel’s beginnings, our nations have pursued strong relations based on common values, providing mutual security in the region and helping to spread democratic practices. The mere prospect of a CODEL like this threatens that relationship. Allowed to proceed, this action could undo years of goodwill built by the foreign policy and Israeli-American communities. To signal to our most threatened ally in the region that the United States Congress sanctions an official trip to visit Israel’s nemesis would be an exceedingly dangerous path forward.
Notwithstanding the potential damage to the U.S.-Israel relationship, it seems to be a gross misappropriation of taxpayer dollars to contribute to, however indirectly, a belligerent group and its affiliates that directly oppose the interests of the United States.
For the reasons above, please deny Rep. Tlaib’s request to sponsor and lead a CODEL to Palestine and exercise your authority as chair to deny your consent to any member of your committee who seeks your approval to participate in such a misadventure. Please consider the damage that a yet unexperienced and overly caustic Member of Congress may cause to Israeli relations, or the perceptions of our own Jewish-American citizens.
Brian Babin, D.D.S., Member of Congress”
Click here to view one of Dr. Babin’s letters.