Barbara Lee says she voted against Abraham Accords bill by mistake

The California progressive, who is running for the Senate, said that she intended to vote in favor of the bill

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) conducts a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

After being just one of 13 House members to vote against a bill establishing an ambassador-level special envoy to promote the Abraham Accords, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said that vote was in error.

A spokesperson for Lee, who is running for Senate in California, told Jewish Insider on Tuesday evening that she voted against the measure by mistake, and had intended to vote yes. She also entered a statement into the Congressional Record to that effect. 

Lee has been a progressive stalwart and critic of U.S. foreign policy in the House who has been critical, at times, of Israeli policy. She sponsored legislation to place restrictions on U.S. aid to Israel and voted against legislation condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

But she has also voted for a number of pro-Israel measures — such as a resolution in April honoring Israel’s 75th anniversary and pushing for the expansion of the Abraham Accords and supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system.

The long-serving California lawmaker has recently sought to court the pro-Israel community in the race, emphasizing her “commitment to a two-state solution and to Israel’s security and a Palestinian state” in a webinar with pro-Israel voters.

Mistaken votes are uncommon but not unheard of in the House. Multiple lawmakers who initially logged no votes corrected them to yes during the voting process for the Abraham Accords bill on Tuesday.

In total, 10 other Democrats — Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Cori Bush (D-MO), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Summer Lee (D-PA), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL) — and two Republicans, Reps. Rich McCormick (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) — voted against the bill.

McCormick has, since entering Congress, been a pro-Israel voice on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The freshman legislator also does not share Massie’s isolationist libertarian leanings. He did not provide an explanation of why he voted against the bill. 

The remaining no votes are frequent opponents of pro-Israel legislation. The bill passed overwhelmingly, with 413 votes in favor.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.