House Approves Sanctions Bill Targeting ICC Amid Israeli Arrest Warrants

Washington, D.C. – In a significant move, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that threatens sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) following its chief prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. The Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, which received strong bipartisan support, now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The House Judiciary Committee saw 42 Democrats join 205 Republicans in voting for the bill. Despite President Joe Biden’s criticism of the ICC’s actions, he has expressed opposition to the bill itself.

The legislation aims to impose sanctions on the ICC if it continues its efforts to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected individuals from the United States or its allies.

These sanctions include restrictions on property transactions and interests within the U.S., as well as on visas, admission, or parole for those linked to the ICC’s offending actions.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the bill last month, citing reports that the ICC was preparing to issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials due to the conflict in Gaza. “This sends a strong message to the ICC that we will not tolerate their outrageous attacks on Israel,” Roy said in a statement after the House passed the bill. He emphasized that the bill is also about protecting U.S. sovereignty and the nation’s servicemembers.

The controversy began when ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, alongside Hamas leaders. This move drew bipartisan criticism from U.S. leaders. President Biden labeled the arrest warrant applications as “outrageous.”

However, the White House released a policy statement opposing Roy’s bill, suggesting that there are “more effective ways” for the U.S. to respond to the ICC’s actions. The Democrat-controlled Senate, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has not yet decided whether to bring the bill up for consideration. Past GOP measures, such as a comprehensive border security bill, have previously been dismissed by the Senate leadership.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), a co-sponsor of the bill, urged the Senate to “immediately” pass the legislation, highlighting the importance of standing by Israel and ensuring the protection of U.S. sovereignty.