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Kaine Announces Growing Support for his Amendment to Maintain Congressional Oversight of Foreign Military Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, announced growing support for his amendment to maintain the congressional notification requirement for all U.S. assistance to foreign militaries. Specifically, the amendment would strike a provision in the draft national security supplemental funding bill that waives congressional notice requirements for U.S. funding for Israel under the Foreign Military Financing Program but leaves the notice mandate in place for arms transfers to other nations. If passed, the amendment would preserve the congressional notification process for Israel, just as congressional notifications are required for all other nations.

Since announcing his intent to file this amendment, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have joined Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in supporting this commonsense amendment.

Kaine said, “Support is growing for the commonsense proposition that Congress needs to be notified when the administration is transferring military aid to any nation. The American people and their representatives in Congress deserve transparency on these important matters. No president of any party should bypass Congress on issues of war, peace, and diplomacy.” 

Kaine has long been a leading voice calling for Congress to play an assertive and deliberate role in decisions related to war and peace. On December 30, Kaine raised concerns over the Biden Administration’s unnecessary circumvention of congressional oversight to transfer weapons to Israel. Earlier in December, Kaine’s bipartisan legislation to prevent any U.S. president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO without congressional approval was signed into law. Last year, the Senate voted to pass Kaine’s bipartisan legislation to repeal the outdated 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) that Administrations of both parties had used as a blank check to wage war across the globe, formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars, and reassert congressional war powers. 

Kaine strongly condemned Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and has been vocal about the need to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. He’s taken a series of steps to prioritize the release of hostages taken by Hamas, including directly engaging the Qatari and Egyptian governments, address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and protect civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, and counter Hamas’ terrorist threats. Kaine led his colleagues in calling for a short-term cessation of violence in order to ensure humanitarian assistance is reaching civilians in Gaza.