11/18/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/18/2020 16:18
'We are introducing these bipartisan resolutions out of a shared understanding that Congress must strongly assert its statutory authority over our nation's foreign arms sales. As I tried to warn the Trump administration, circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible,' said Menendez. 'There are a number of outstanding concerns as to how these sales would impact the national security interests of both the United States and of Israel. As a result, Congress is once again stepping in to serve as a check to avoid putting profit over U.S. national security and that of our allies, and to hopefully prevent a new arms race in the Middle East.'
'I support the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but nothing in that agreement requires us to flood the region with more weapons and facilitate a dangerous arms race,' said Murphy. 'The Emiratis are an important security partner, but their recent behavior indicates that these weapons may be used in violation of U.S. and international law. The UAE has violated past arms sales agreements, resulting in U.S. arms ending up in the arms of dangerous militia groups, and they have failed to comply with international law in Libya and Yemen. A sale this large and this consequential should not happen in the waning days of a lame duck presidency, and Congress must take steps to stop this dangerous transfer of weapons.'
The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 provides special procedures through which lawmakers can introduce a joint resolution of disapproval against a proposed arm sale. In the Senate, a resolution can be discharged from the Committee of jurisdiction, forcing a vote on the Senate floor.
Last month, Ranking Member Menendez and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) sent a long list of detailed questions to Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper regarding this sale, expressing their concern that the internal process was being rushed and demanding answers as to how the Administration would safeguard the U.S.'s and Israel's critical military technology inherent in these aircraft. Senator Menendez was then joined by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in introducing the Secure F-35 Exports Act of 2020, legislation to strengthen Congressional oversight over the sale of sophisticated and mission-critical American military systems.
Juan Pachon (Menendez)
Jamie Geller (Murphy)