BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local elected representatives are responding to the Hamas attacks in Israel, but with the House of Representatives in disarray, no formal condemnation has come yet from Capitol Hill.
“To me, it’s a terrorist attack and Israel is an ally,” said Representative David Valadao. “And it’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen.”
When asked what Congress’s response to these attacks should be, and whether they can formally adopt a response without a Speaker in the house, Valadao says they’re “not even sure.”
“The whole Speaker Pro Tem thing is a new thing. That just started after 9/11, and we don’t really know the powers yet — we’re trying to get that addressed,” said Valadao. “As for what should Congress’s response be, it should be a strong, strong support and to make sure that we can do anything we can to support our allies.”
Bakersfield Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong also commented on the situation, issuing a statement that says in part, “There is no justification for the murderous attacks on our strongest ally in the Middle East. We stand with Israel.”
Former Speaker and Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy shared his emotional reaction to the attacks on Monday morning, reminiscing on his early days of being Speaker.
“As Speaker, my very first trip internationally was to Israel. I spoke at the Knesset in honor of the 75th anniversary of the creation of their country. At this moment in time I think about what I said inside their chambers,” said McCarthy. “I said, ‘Our values are your values. Our heritage is your heritage. Our dreams are your dreams.’ America is grateful for our friendship with Israel. We are a better nation because of it, and we must never shy away from defending it.”
McCarthy also did not rule out serving as Speaker again amid pressure to fill the vacancy following the Hamas attack on Israel over the weekend.
Mayor Karen Goh of Bakersfield joined the politicians in voicing her support for Israel.
“I join our brothers and sisters who grieve at the pain and tragic loss of life caused by the Hamas attack and the provocation of war,” said Goh. “My thoughts and prayers go out to all impacted. I’m grateful for the deep bond between the United States and Israel and I stand resolutely with Israel against terrorism. Let us, together, pray for peace.”