Kaine to File 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 that he intends to file an amendment to maintain the congressional notification requirement for all U.S. assistance to foreign militaries. Specifically, the amendment would strike a provision in the proposed national security supplemental funding bill that waives oversight requirements for U.S. funding for Israel under the Foreign Military Financing Program. If passed, the amendment would preserve the congressional notification process for Israel, just as congressional notifications are required for all other nations.
“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. I have strongly supported U.S. aid necessary for Israel’s defense, but all nations should be subject to the same standard. I’m filing an amendment to maintain the congressional notification requirement for all U.S. foreign military assistance because Congress and the American taxpayer deserve to know when U.S. arms are transferred to any nation,” said Kaine.
The amendment is sponsored by 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).
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 Last year, the Senate voted to pass Kaine’s bipartisan legislation to repeal the outdated 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) that Administrations of both parties had used as a blank check to wage war across the globe,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.