Here's how San Antonio's congressional delegation voted on Israel, Ukraine aid

U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar said sending additional aid to Israel would further worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

click to enlarge Smoke rises from an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in October, 2023. - Anas-Mohammed
Smoke rises from an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in October, 2023.
Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify that U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar voted in favor of sending aid to Ukraine.

Over the weekend, three members of San Antonio's congressional delegation voted against parts of the U.S. House package that would send a total of $95 billion foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel. A smaller portion of the package included additional funding for Taiwan.

Democratic U.S. Reps Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar voted against sending additional aid to Israel, but voted in favor of sending U.S. aid to Ukraine. Both Castro and Casar cited concerns that additional military funding would allow right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue a bloody ground offensive in Gaza.

"We have seen how Prime Minister Netanyahu's government has used American weapons to kill indiscriminately, to force famine," Castro told Congress this weekend. "Over 25,000 women and children dead, tens of thousands of missiles and bombs levied on innocent civilians. We cannot escape what we see before us every day."
Meanwhile, Casar, in a statement on X, the online platform formerly known as Twitter, advocated for a ceasefire instead of public money going towards Israel's offensive.

"If we want to save Israeli hostages, achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, and prevent a bigger war, we cannot keep sending Netanyahu more weapons — weapons that could make this catastrophe even worse," Casar wrote.
Castro and Casar joined 17 other House Democrats in voting against sending money to Israel on the grounds that the additional money could lead to further devastation in Gaza.

In a joint statement, the coalition said supplying the Israeli government with additional arms would make "ourselves complicit in this tragedy." They accused Netanyahu of intentionally expanding the war in the Middle East to include Iran to "preserve his power."

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a far-right Republican whose district includes a swath of San Antonio, voted against sending money to both Israel and Ukraine. In his case, not because he wants a ceasefire but because he's upset the U.S. allegedly hasn't done enough to close its southern border.

"For months, House Republicans — specifically Speaker Mike Johnson — have been unequivocal that we would not send billions in additional aid to Ukraine without securing our own border first," Roy said in a statement. "This package represents a complete reversal of a policy that previously unified the Republican conference, despite the clear and present danger the southern border represents to U.S. national security."

Roy's fear mongering over the border came less than 24 hours after the San Antonio City Manager informed City Council that the city's migrant airport transfer center would be closing due to lower-than-usual demand as border crossings have dropped significantly in recent months, according to the San Antonio Report.

U.S. Rep Tony Gonzales, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, make up the remainder of San Antonio's congressional delegation. Both voted in favor of the package in its entirety, paving the way for both Ukraine and Israel to receive U.S. aid. The U.S. Senate is expected to take procedural votes Tuesday afternoon on the aid and is likely to approve it before the end of the week, according to reports.

Gonzales, who's in a Republican runoff for his district, said during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union program that he supports his nation's allies.

"You do not leave your allies on the battlefield to bleed out," Gonzales said. "I know that because I served 20 years in the military and five years in Iraq and Afghanistan. The politics is pretty thick right now, but we have to stand up now more than ever. I think you're seeing Republicans go, 'We want to govern."
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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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