Amendment aims to prevent bypassing Congress on Israel weapons transfers
Around twelve US senators aim to block President Joe Biden's administration from bypassing Congress on arms transfers to Israel.
The senators, led by Tim Kaine of Virginia, said they planned to introduce the amendment to the supplemental aid bill to Israel and other US allies to remove the administration's option to bypass the customary congressional review process.
"The administration's supplemental request proposes to lift congressional notice requirements regarding arms sales to Israel while leaving the notice mandate in place for arms transfers to other nations," said Kaine in a statement issued from his office this week.
"I have strongly supported US aid necessary for Israel's defence, but all nations should be subject to the same standard. I'm filing an amendment to maintain the congressional notification requirement for all US foreign military assistance because Congress and the American taxpayer deserve to know when US arms are transferred to any nation," he continued.
As it stands, the supplemental bill put forth by the administration allows for bypassing the congressional notification and waiting period for the arms transfer.
Last month, Kaine spoke out against the practice, noting that for the second time in one month, the US administration had sought to bypass the congressional review process."Just as Congress has a crucial role to play in all matters of war and peace, Congress should have full visibility over the weapons we transfer to any other nation" said Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees.
"Unnecessarily bypassing Congress means keeping the American people in the dark. We need a public explanation of the rationale behind this decision—the second such decision this month," Kaine added.