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Allred's record

On ICC sanctions vote, Allred breaks with other Democratic Senate hopefuls

Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Ruben Gallego and Adam Schiff all voted in favor of ICC sanctions, which Allred opposed

Emil Lippe/Getty Images

Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) speaks to reporters following a special service on January 17, 2022 in Southlake, Texas.

Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) stood alone last month among Democratic House members seeking Senate seats when he voted against a bill placing sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

“I remain deeply committed to ensuring that Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself against Hamas and free the hostages while we work toward a sustainable peace,” Allred said in a statement to Jewish Insider. “I support pushing back on some of ICC’s findings and conclusions, but I fear this bill would have unintended consequences.”

Allred’s vote puts him at odds with the other House Democrats hoping to advance to the Senate in November, Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). They did not respond to requests for comment on their own votes.

Gallego and Slotkin’s decisions to vote for the ICC sanctions drew condemnation from some on the left and in the Muslim community.

Allred, running to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — an outspoken critic of the administration’s Middle East policy — has a generally pro-Israel voting record, but has broken with pro-Israel groups at times. That marks a contrast with his opponent, who has remained outspokenly pro-Israel. Cruz did, however, vote against the national security supplemental funding bill, which Allred supported.

In late April, Allred broke with other moderate Democratic colleagues in expressing concern about crackdowns on anti-Israel protests on college campuses.

“Our campuses should be places where all students feel safe. Jewish students must be able to attend classes free from any sense of intimidation, and students who seek to protest peacefully must be allowed to do so consistent with campus policies and their First Amendment rights,” Allred said in a statement. “Overly aggressive responses to peaceful protests serve neither of these interests. We can and must both protect students’ rights and their right to safety.”

In an interview with “Pod Save America,” Allred accused Republicans of hypocrisy regarding free speech on campuses — “The First Amendment is a stubborn thing. It applies to speech that you agree with and speech you disagree with. And obviously there’s limits to it.”

He said that “sometimes that line” — between protected speech and hate speech — “has been crossed,” adding “I don’t think you should take it too far, but that certainly this is something that has been going on our college campuses, but also in our country, since the very beginning.”

At the same time, Allred also voted with most other Democrats in favor of the Antisemitism Awareness Act, legislation widely criticized on the left, which would codify the Department of Education’s use of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism on college campuses. Slotkin and Schiff also supported the antisemitism bill; Gallego did not vote.

Cruz has condemned the campus protests as pro-Hamas, pushed for demonstrators to be prosecuted, lose student aid and, in some cases, be deported.

Most recently, Allred and all of the other Senate Democratic hopefuls voted with other pro-Israel moderates for an amendment blocking the State Department from using Gaza Health Ministry data. And Allred was the only Senate candidate who voted, with a handful of vocal supporters of Israel, for an amendment effectively firing scandal-plagued Iran Envoy Rob Malley.

Allred also recently sided with moderate pro-Israel Democrats — breaking with the majority of Democrats in the House Foreign Affairs Committee — to vote for legislation aimed at creating greater oversight over the administration’s withholding of U.S. arms transfers to Israel, and giving Congress the ability to block the administration from withholding arms. 

But Allred and most other Democrats had voted against a more hard-line GOP bill on the House floor that would have withheld funding from key national security agencies if the sales did not go forward. None of the House Democrats running for Senate seats supported that bill.

In the “Pod Save America” interview, Allred, addressing the holds, emphasized the need to avoid actions that might make peace harder to achieve and said that “some of the conduct that we’ve seen” and the potential invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza “calls into question, are we moving towards that or away from it.”

“And as the United States, I think our role has to be trying to encourage that and try and create the conditions for what we know will be hard to do, but that we have to use this tragedy in some ways as an opportunity to try and revitalize this discussion around two states,” Allred said.

Citing a visit to Kibbutz Kfar Aza before the war, where he spoke with Israelis and a Palestinian man involved in peace-building efforts, Allred said that “there has to be another way for us here.”

Cruz, meanwhile, has introduced legislation that seeks to remove the administration’s ability to pause weapons shipments to Israel and has accused the administration of undermining the Jewish state and of being the most hostile to Israel in U.S. history.

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