Georgia Rep. McCormick said he voted against Abraham Accords bill to combat bureaucracy

The bill ‘expands executive power and expands bureaucracy,’ which he said could ‘contaminate’ the Abraham Accords

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Representative-elect Rich McCormick arrives at the Hyatt Regency on November 13, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA) — who raised eyebrows on Tuesday as one of just two Republicans, and 13 total House members, to vote against a bill creating an ambassador-rank special envoy for the Abraham Accords —  said on Wednesday that he opposed the bill to combat expanding executive branch power and federal bureaucracy.

The Georgia lawmaker said in a statement to Jewish Insider on Wednesday, “Joe Biden needs to show some real improvement with his treatment of the State of Israel — and an improvement with his diplomacy across the world — before I vote to give him a new government bureaucrat to oversee President Trump’s greatest foreign policy achievement in the region.” 

McCormick, who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes some Atlanta suburbs, linked his opposition to the bipartisan bill to broader GOP concerns about the Biden administration’s alleged abuse of the federal government.

“[This bill] does two unintended things that concern me,” he explained. “It expands executive power and expands bureaucracy. Americans are seeing these powers abused at the White House and federal agencies every day, and the last thing I want is to contaminate the Abraham Accords, which are currently working very well.”

Whether or not Congress passes this bill, the Abraham Accords will remain primarily under the purview of the executive branch. The administration has said it intends to create a new post to oversee the Abraham Accords; without the congressional legislation, that individual would not be subject to Senate confirmation.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), the lead Republican sponsor of the legislation, has argued that the bill would make the administration more accountable to Congress in its handling of the Abraham Accords, while Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), the lead Democrat, has framed it as an antidote to the pitfalls of federal bureaucracy.

McCormick argued that the first priority for lawmakers should be to “ensure” that the next U.S. ambassador to Israel “protects our friendship with Israel and peace in the Middle East before we hire yet another federal employee.” The administration has not said if it will nominate a new ambassador prior to the 2024 election after Ambassador Tom Nides departs the posting this summer.

McCormick took to the House floor on Wednesday to elaborate on his decision and “explain to my constituents why consistency in political thought is important.”

“No one should doubt my support for Israel or my admiration of the Abraham Accords,” he said, pointing to his vote in April in favor of a resolution supporting the U.S.-Israel relationship and expanding the Accords. “With that said, whether it is about government spending, debt, increasing fees on an entire veteran population… on increasing executive power and bureaucracy, I will remain politically consistent and thoughtful.”

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