House of Representatives Prohibits Funds for ICC, ICJ, and UNRWA

I. Legislative Branch

1) Legislation

House Appropriations Releases FY25 State and Foreign Operations and Defense Bills. On June 3, the House Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) State, Foreign Operations, and Relations bill. The bill provides $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel and prohibits US funding to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), and the United Nations Commission of Inquiry against Israel. The bill represents an 11 percent cut from the FY24 enacted appropriations level and a 19 percent cut from President Joe Biden’s FY25 request to Congress. On June 4, the committee also released its FY25 Defense bill, which provides a total discretionary allocation of $833.1 billion for defense spending. This amount includes $500 million for the Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Program, and $80 million and $55 million above the President’s Budget Request for anti-tunneling cooperation and counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) development, respectively. The bill bars US funding for UNRWA and prohibits funds to withhold the delivery of defense articles and defense services to Israel as well as provides $529 million for operations to counter the Islamic State.

House and Senate Resolutions Urge Biden to Act Against Iran at IAEA. On June 3, Rep. Michael Lawler (R-NY) introduced H.Res.1272 and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced its Senate companion, S.Res.717. The resolutions call on the Biden administration to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency, refer the issue to the United Nations Security Council, and take additional measures to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

House Passes Bill to Sanction ICC Officials. On June 4, the House passed H.R.8282, which imposes sanctions on persons who have “aided any effort by the International Criminal Court to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person” and prohibits US funding to the court. Senate Republicans applauded the bill’s passage, and on June 5 introduced a companion version, S.4484. Biden administration officials have maintained that although they do not support sanctions on the ICC, they are “willing to work with Congress on what a response might look like.”

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Increase Space Cooperation Among Abraham Accord Members. On June 5, Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced S.4482. The bill promotes cooperation between the United States and Abraham Accord member countries on space and satellite issues to “defend against malign Iranian activities in space.”

House Bill Places Moratorium on Immigration from Palestine. On June 5, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced H.R.8629 which places a two-year moratorium on Palestinian Authority passport holders being “admitted or paroled into the United States or [being] issued a visa or other documentation to enter the United States.”

Senate Bill Pursues Stronger Response to Sudan Conflict. On June 5, Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced S.4475 to bolster the US response to the war in Sudan. The legislation would codify the Special Envoy for Sudan position at the Department of State by requiring that the Special Envoy report directly to the Secretary of State and be Senate-confirmed.

2) Personnel and Correspondence

Senate Republicans Send Letter to AG Garland About ICC Prosecutor. Senators Tim Cotton (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), JD Vance (R-OH), and Rick Scott (R-FL) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on June 5. The senators wrote urging Garland to investigate ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, accusing him and the ICC of materially supporting and coordinating with Hamas.

Republican Leadership Announces Netanyahu Address Set for July. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address Congress on July 24.

3) Hearings and Briefings

HFAC Holds Hearing on Foreign Assistance Oversight. On June 4, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Oversight & Accountability held a hearing on the foreign assistance grants process. Committee members discussed US funding to the United Nations, aid effectiveness in Iraq and Lebanon, and threats posed by Iran, among other topics.

II. Executive Branch

1) White House

Biden Speaks with Emir of Qatar. On June 3, President Biden spoke with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar about the Gaza ceasefire and hostage release proposal. According to the White House readout, Biden reiterated his support for the proposed deal, thanked Al Thani for Qatar’s role in the negotiation process, and urged him to “use all appropriate measures to secure Hamas’ acceptance of the deal.”

Jake Sullivan Calls Top Turkish Foreign Policy Advisor. On June 3, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Turkey’s Chief Foreign Policy and Security Advisor Ambassador Akif Cagatay Kilic about the Gaza ceasefire proposal and bilateral issues including counterterrorism and defense cooperation.

White House Advisor Heads to Egypt to Push for Ceasefire Deal. On June 4, Axios reported that CIA Director William Burns was expected to arrive in Qatar on that same day and that White House Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk was expected to arrive in Cairo on June 5, with both officials reportedly working to advance US efforts to achieve a Gaza hostage deal and ceasefire agreement.

Biden “Uncertain” If Israel Has Committed War Crimes. In an interview with TIME published on June 4, President Biden said that it is “uncertain” whether Israel has committed war crimes during its war on Gaza. Following the interview’s publication, Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller added that he did not “know the definitive answer…[but] it’s reasonable to conclude that they may have, given the sheer number of incidents.”

United States and 16 Other Countries Urge Ceasefire Deal. On June 6, the leaders of the United States and 16 other countries released a joint statement calling on Hamas and Israel to move forward with the proposed ceasefire deal announced by President Biden on May 31.

2) Department of State

Secretary Blinken Speaks with Arab Foreign Ministers on Gaza. The Department of State announced that on June 3, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the Moroccan foreign minister and that on June 4, Blinken spoke with his Algerian and Saudi counterparts regarding a Gaza ceasefire.

Deputy Secretary of State Campbell Meets with UAE Security Advisor. On June 3, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell met in Washington with United Arab Emirates’ National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss bilateral issues including cooperation on advanced technology, energy, and security and the importance of the US-UAE strategic and economic partnership.

Blinken Meets with UN Secretary-General. On June 4, Secretary Blinken met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and thanked him for his support of the Gaza ceasefire proposal. They also discussed the ongoing violence in Sudan.

Concern Over a Hezbollah-Israel War Mounts. On June 4, Spokesperson Miller called the situation along the Lebanon-Israel border “extremely dangerous.” Miller said that conversations are ongoing to reach a political solution to the cross-border strikes between Israel and Hezbollah but that such a solution will be difficult to reach absent a Gaza ceasefire agreement. Miller underscored that Israel maintains the right to “deal with” the threat that Hezbollah poses.

Sanctions on Palestinian Group in the West Bank. On June 6, the Department of State imposed sanctions on “Lions’ Den,” a militant Palestinian group based in Nablus in the occupied West Bank that the United States accuses of engaging in violence against Israeli targets and Palestinian civilians.

Department Responds to Lethal Israeli Strike. On June 6, Spokesperson Miller responded to news of a lethal Israeli strike that day on a UN school in Rafah that was serving as a shelter for displaced Gazans. Miller said, “We have made clear to the Government of Israel that we expect them to do everything that they can to minimize civilian harm. We’ve been through this before. It applies in this situation, too.” As with previous such incidents, Miller said that the Department would await an Israeli investigation of the incident before commenting further.

Department Pushes Israel to Release PA Revenue. Spokesperson Miller told reporters on June 6 that the United States is concerned by Israel’s continued withholding of Palestinian Authority (PA) tax revenue. As the PA faces a growing fiscal crisis, Miller stated that “there is nothing that could be more counter to the strategic interests of Israel than the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.”

3) Department of Defense

Secretary Austin Says Need for More Precise Israeli Operations in Rafah. Speaking at a June 3 press conference, Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III told reporters that the Biden administration still characterized Israel’s current operations in Rafah as “limited” but urged the Israeli military to conduct “more precise” operations going forward.

CENTCOM Announces Repair of Gaza Humanitarian Pier. On June 7, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that it had successfully reestablished the US-built humanitarian pier in Gaza, allowing for the resumption of aid after inclement weather conditions interrupted the repair operation.