According to Govtrack , Gilchrest is very nearly a Democrat.
From Ed Lasky at the American Thinker:
Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) has been a stalwart supporter of the American-Israel alliance. He recently introduced an amendment to the foreign aid bill that would prohibit groups that deny Israel’s right to exist from receiving American (taxpayer dollar) foreign aid. The amendment passed 390-30.
Johnson, E. B.
Rep. Gilchrest, Do you realize you voted against an amendment that would deny U.S foreign aid to any group that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist? How do you justify this vote? Do you deny Israel’s right to exist? This is unbelievable. What has happened to you? This is your worst vote yet this session, and there is a lot of competition for this dubious title. Well I guess we will see what happens in 2008. You’ve lost at least 20 Republicans votes which I can count, and I will work on more. Good luck with your support of Hamas and Hezbollah. -David Dvorak
Update: (The actual amendment and floor comments below the fold)
The specifics and the reasoning for introducing the amendment are below:
Amendment offered by Mr. Pence:
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:
Sec. __. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to provide direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, except as otherwise provided by existing law.
The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the order of the House of Wednesday, June 20, 2007, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Pence) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Indiana.
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
(Mr. PENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chairman, the legislation before us today includes in various ways tens of millions of dollars that would be directed to advancing U.S. interests in areas known as the West Bank and Gaza.
Given the recent violent and tragic events in the Palestinian territories and the strong commitment of this body to prevent taxpayer funding from reaching the hands of terrorists, I offer an amendment that reinforces previous prohibitions on funding Palestinian terrorist organizations and offer it for my colleagues’ consideration on both sides of the aisle.
Mr. Chairman, my amendment simply states: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to provide direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, except as otherwise provided by existing law.”
So what is existing law? The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act last year, in 2006. It was signed into law in December. It states that, “No ministry, agency or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority effectively controlled by Hamas” would be eligible for funding unless it meets the basic preconditions of civil society, namely, recognition of Israel and the renunciation of violence.
The purpose of this amendment today is to clarify that assistance may be provided to the Fattah elements of the PA government, assuming such elements are not engaged in the terrorism or compromise by the terrorism of Hamas. Concern about the application of this provision may have led the distinguished subcommittee chairman, Mrs. Lowey, to put a hold and request information from Secretary Rice about her intent to release funding to the PA.
Now, these safeguards and other relevant laws are critical because they prohibit assistance to terrorists, including to a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority, but they permit assistance to a PA government that is in
compliance with the principles of recognition of Israel, previous peace agreements, and a renunciation of violence. Why is it necessary? Well, because, given the systematic instability, we simply don’t know what shape the Palestinian government will take in the coming months. Large portions of the Palestinian territories are in virtual anarchy at this moment. Even worse, Gaza is completely dominated by Hamas, a universally recognized terrorist organization. We cannot permit one red cent of U.S. dollars to find its way to Hamas.After lengthy discussions with the Department of State, including Secretary of State Rice herself, I would like my colleagues to know that this amendment is not opposed by the State Department. In fact, I had a warm and candid conversation today with the Secretary of State, and I told her then that it is critical that we clarify that the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 is still the law of the land and reiterate its intent, namely, to deny funding to terrorist entities within the Palestinian leadership.Mr. Chairman, we cannot permit any ambiguity to exist on this subject. This body should be on the record today, as we have before, that no American tax dollars can be delivered to any authority within the Palestinian territories that is compromised or even tainted by Hamas or other terrorist interests.