The International Criminal Court building
The International Criminal Court buildingReuters

The Biden administration on Tuesday said it opposes sanctions being pushed by Republicans in Congress against the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to its Chief Prosecutor's decision to seek arrest warrants against Israeli leaders over the war in Gaza, Axios reported.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing with reporters that sanctions were "not the right answer" to deal with the ICC arrest warrants and added the administration opposes that approach.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who spoke after Kirby, reiterated that message and said legislation against the ICC "is not something the administration is going to support."

"Sanctions on the ICC are not an effective or appropriate tool to address US concerns. We will work with Congress on other options to address the ICC overreach," she said.

Their comments come as the White House and the State Department are conducting consultations with Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate over possible action against the ICC in the wake of Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan’s decision.

Republicans are pushing for tough US sanctions against the prosecutor and other ICC officials, but Democrats want to explore other options.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said on a post on social media site X on Tuesday, "The ICC should clearly be sanctioned for its outrageous and unfounded claims of authority. The White House's refusal to protect Israelis and Americans is a terrible decision that will set a dangerous precedent."

Robert O'Brien, a top foreign policy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, told Reuters last week that the United States should slap sanctions on ICC officials who seek an arrest warrant for Israeli leaders.

President Joe Biden condemned the ICC’s move, saying in a statement, "The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

The President later condemned the ICC’s move once again at an event in honor of Jewish Heritage Month at the White House.

“Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what's happening [in Gaza] is not genocide. We reject that,” stated Biden. “We will always stand with Israel and against threats to its security.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also denounced the ICC announcement and said he would “work with President Biden and members on all sides to keep support for Israel strong and unwavering.”

Neither Biden nor Schumer indicated what moves they could take against the ICC and whether sanctions would be considered.