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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver says he won't sign resolution calling for ceasefire in Gaza

FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., asks a question during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Housing advocates are raising the alarm about House Republicans' plan to dramatically cut the federal deficit to raise the debt ceiling, warning that struggling families could lose access to rental aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press
In this June 27, 2018 file photo, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., asks a question during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who represents Missouri's 5th congressional district that includes Kansas City, says he isn't confident that the "Ceasefire Now" resolution — sponsored by Rep. Cori Bush — will lead to any concrete results in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, says he won’t sign a resolution calling for President Biden to support a ceasefire in Gaza.

Speaking with KCUR’s Up to Date, Cleaver said that the "Ceasefire Now" resolution still depends on Israel and Hamas to independently agree to halt military actions.

Cleaver said that he’s not confident the legislation, which is co-sponsored by fellow Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, will lead to any concrete results.

You can’t vote a ceasefire into existence…  you can’t just sign your name on a thing and say, ‘I’m in favor of a ceasefire,’ and it happens," Cleaver says.

Kansas City activist groups like Al-Hadaf and KC Tenants, along with dozens of other organizations, have been urging Cleaver to sign the resolution, and staged a sit-in at his Kansas City office last week. The groups say that pressure from U.S. political leaders is essential to de-escalating the violence.

"The United States' current administration has not demonstrated the moral leadership needed in this crisis, allowing Israel’s violence to continue unchecked without diplomatic consequence," reads a letter to Cleaver from the groups.

Cleaver said he stands by the Biden Administration’s diplomatic efforts and hopes that humanitarian aid to Palestinians will mitigate the toll of ongoing violence.

"Signing something and trick— and making people think that a ceasefire is going to take place, is just not something I want to do because it’s not true, it’s not real," he said.

Cleaver also talked to KCUR's Up To Date about the newly-elected Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, who was selected by Republicans after numerous failed nominees were considered to replace ousted speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Speaking a day after House Democrats joined a minority of Republicans to pass a spending bill and avoid a government shutdown, Cleaver says he doesn't believe Johnson will last long in the role.

Cleaver says he's spoken with Republicans who say "it's only a matter of time" before Johnson too is removed.

"I can't see any kind of coherent strategy that he is working on that will fund Congress past February, and it's to the detriment of the country," Cleaver said.

"People need to understand this is not what it appears to be. This is not finally getting a person in place who is going to work with both sides of the aisle to get things done. He is not. And it is very clear to (Democratic) leadership that that's not going to happen."

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