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More GOP members sign onto letter opposing Jerusalem consulate

Of the 12 Republicans who did not sign the initial letter, two have already said they plan to join an updated one

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Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)

Some of the 12 House Republicans who did not sign on to Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY) letter to President Joe Biden opposing the administration’s plan to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem serving Palestinians sent earlier this week are now throwing their support behind the effort.

Zeldin spokesperson Jacob Murphy told JI that the New York congressman’s office reached out to all House Republicans before the letter was sent to invite them to add their signatures before the initial letter was sent and noted Zeldin is planning to send an updated letter later this week with additional signatures. 

Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Cliff Bentz (R-OR) have already signed onto the updated letter, Murphy said.

But some holdouts remain.

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) told JI on Monday he agreed with the letter’s sentiments but had concerns about some of its specific content.

“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. I support the letter’s purpose of urging the Biden administration to reconsider reopening a Palestinian consulate general,” Griffith said. “When asked to sign on, I read the letter and did not agree with all of its assertions.”

Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) likewise agreed with the message and supported the Trump administration’s decision to shut down the consulate, an individual familiar with his thinking on the matter told JI. “Unlike the other 199 members on the letter, [Graves was] legislating last week,” the source added.

Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Don Young (R-AK) — the remaining Republicans who did not sign — did not respond to requests for comment.

With the exception of Massie, who routinely opposes a range of foreign policy measures and recently voted against supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, the other non-signatories have voted in favor of other recent House measures supporting Israel.