Washington D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) took part in a showcase session yesterday at AIPAC’s Policy Conference 2019 to discuss bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and U.S. security in the Middle East. Highlights from Lead Republican McCaul below: 

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On ensuring the Foreign Affairs Committee continues to operate collaboratively:

“Eliot and I are very protective of the integrity of the Committee… It should not be politicized. It should not be partisan. We need to come together as Americans. [Chairman Engel] often says it ends at the water’s edge. In fact, when we travel overseas, we travel not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans representing the United States of America and that’s what is so great about it.”

On answering any criticism to support of the U.S.-Israel relationship:

“It is such an important alliance that I am more than happy to take any criticism. I am deeply disturbed by some in the Congress who are threatening this alliance. I don’t think I’ve seen this in the 15 years I’ve been in the Congress and I don’t have any tolerance for that.

“I just think we have a duty and an obligation… to denounce anti-Semitism and hatred in all of its forms. .. the idea that this could possibly be on the rise is absolutely unacceptable and we will do everything we can to fight it.”

On U.S. policy in Syria…

What I worry about is a power vacuum in Iraq & Syria. We saw that created one time before under the previous Administration and ISIS reared its ugly head.

“I am glad the President put 400 special operators back in [Syria] because without those we would have a power vacuum, we would have chaos, and we would have the Shia militias… or the land bridge going into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. That’s what we are trying to prevent, not to mention the reconstitution of ISIS.”