Senators slam Biden for bypassing review for arms to Israel
At least two US Senate Democrats are calling out President Joe Biden's administration for bypassing the standard congressional review time to send around $150 million worth of arms to Israel, the second time the administration has made such a move in a month, according to a report by Jewish Insider.
This comes as Congress is seeing growing discontent over the US administration's unconditional military support for Israel amid its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 22,000 Gazans.
Among those who have expressed disapproval of the Biden administration sidestepping protocol on the funding is Senator Peter Welch of Vermont, who argues that the weapons funding has had devastating effects on Gaza.
"For the second time in a matter of weeks, the Secretary of State has approved the sale of tens of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition to Israel, by circumventing Congress’s right of prior review," he said in a statement issued from his office.
"This type of heavy ammunition has been used to devastating effect in Gaza, contributing to the death and injury of countless civilians and the displacement of an estimated 2 million people who are facing daily bombardment without access to adequate food, water, shelter, or medical care," he continued.
He went on to point to the international controversy and divisions surrounding US support for Israel's war in Gaza and reminding the administration of the established protocol of going through Congress for arms sales approval.
Joining Welch in pressing the administration to go through the standard protocol for arms sales is Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, stressing that the decision is unfair to Americans and demands a public explanation.
"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 in a public statement.
"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."