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Lawmakers blast Biden Gaza port plan as political move to win back progressives

PoliticsLawmakers blast Biden Gaza port plan as political move to win back progressives

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House Republicans are accusing President Biden of building a temporary aid port for Gaza in a bid to win back progressive voters ahead of November, and they’re worried it will put American lives at risk.

Biden unveiled a plan to build a temporary floating port off the coast of Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians who were displaced as a result of the war between Israel and Hamas. 

International groups and several nations have raised concerns about the spread of famine and disease while struggling to get food and medical aid to the population there.

The initiative is expected to take several weeks, and it still remains unclear what the cost would be to taxpayers.

WORLD, UN SIGNAL NO EXIT FOR CIVILIANS CAUGHT UP IN GAZA WAR: ‘POLITICALLY TOXIC’

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address

President Biden announced at his State of the Union address the U.S. military would build a temporary floating port off Gaza’s coast. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Though the administration announced it would not require American troops to set foot in Gaza, lawmakers raised concerns about their proximity to the war zone.

“It is clearly putting our troops in harm’s way,” Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Fox News Digital earlier this week. “[Biden] doesn’t seem to understand their hatred for the American soldiers, sailors and airmen and Marines, and if he puts them within range of Iranian proxies’ rockets, then Iranians proxy rockets are going to be flying at our people.

“I think it’s got more to do with his politics and trying to appease a faction of the Democratic Party.”

Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, who is also on the committee, chalked up the Gaza port plan to Michigan Democrats’ backlash against Biden in the recent primary election. Arab and Muslim leaders in the state urged voters to choose “uncommitted” instead of the president in protest of him not taking a harsher public stance against Israel.

US ARMY BOATS DEPART FOR GAZA ON MISSION TO BUILD FLOATING PIER FOR FOOD DELIVERIES

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.

Rep. Austin Scott was among the Armed Services Committee Republicans criticizing the plan. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

“I think he’s worried about losing Michigan in November, so he wants to throw [something] … to Muslim American voters, particularly in Michigan,” Fallon said, adding the plan was “not in our nation’s best interest.”

“That aid in Gaza has been used by Hamas as currency,” Fallon added.

A third Armed Services Committee member, Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said, “We’re going to be a target out there, and it will help Hamas in the end. Let Israel defeat Hamas, then let us help out with humanitarian aid. We didn’t do aid to Germany in 1944. We did it after [the Nazis] were defeated.”

URBAN WARFARE EXPERT SAYS ISRAELI MILITARY TAKING UNPRECEDENTED STEPS TO PROTECT GAZA CIVILIANS

People fleeing shooting in Gaza

Dozens of Palestinians were killed and at least 280 were wounded when they were fired upon during a humanitarian aid delivery in Gaza City last month. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Essa, File)

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, also accused Biden of launching the Gaza port effort for political reasons.

“He’s doing that, in my opinion, because he had a lot of uncommitted voters out there. These American Palestinians that could vote for him are saying, ‘What the hell, you ain’t supporting us enough.’ So, he’s going to try to do what government does, throw some money at it,” Nehls said.

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Biden made his announcement as the U.S. joined other countries in airdropping aid into Gaza. 

“Tonight, I’m directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters,” Biden said during the State of the Union March 7. “No U.S. boots will be on the ground.

“This temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day.  But Israel must also do its part. Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the cross fire.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment for this story but did not immediately hear back.

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