AUSTIN (Nexstar) — House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul told Nexstar on Wednesday his committee has been asked to consider an Authorization for Use of Military Force relating to the Israel-Hamas war, opening the possibility that American troops may again fight in the Middle East if the war attracts more adversaries through the region.
“I would not want to see that at all,” Rep. McCaul said. “I prefer not see any of our troops on the ground. However, if it escalates to out of control, that’s always a contingency that we have to prepare for.”
Rep. McCaul stressed the urgent need he sees for more U.S. aid for allies facing war and threats overseas, including Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as border security legislation to address threats on the southern border.
He urged the House of Representatives to unite behind a leader, as any pending aid requests remain paralyzed while House Republicans struggle to elect a Speaker.
“It’s a very dangerous game to play politically. We need a speaker in the chair as soon as possible,” he said. “You have two, potentially three, conflicts that could be taking place. We haven’t really seen anything like this, I don’t think, since my dad’s War — World War Two. The largest invasion in Europe since World War Two, the biggest threats to the Pacific, and now an all-out war in the Middle East. So, this is not a time to be vacating the Speaker’s chair. It’s a time for governing.”
Rep. McCaul said he has been consulting with the White House’s National Security Council on securing reinforcement for Israel’s Iron Dome in preparation for a “nightmare scenario” in which Hezbollah mounts a more sophisticated air assault that could “overload” Israel’s defense systems.
In the Indo-Pacific, McCaul has given initial approval to new weapons systems, sea mines, and submarines to ward off a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
“Chairman Xi has great ambitions. What I worry about is he’s going to think we’re taking our eye off the ball with what’s happening in the Middle East and may think this may be the time for him to strike,” McCaul said. “We need to send a message of deterrence, that that would be a grave mistake, and that we are paying attention.”
As soon as this week, The White House is expected to ask Congress for $100 billion of aid for Israel and Ukraine. There is support in both chambers for additional aid for both countries, but legislation cannot move through the House without a speaker.
“We got a lot of hotspots,” McCaul said. “And deterrence is always the key. Projecting power, and not projecting weaknesses, always, in my judgment, is the best foreign policy to stop aggression and stop wars from happening.”