Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution Thursday to block a planned $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel, as hostilities continue between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Sanders’ resolution comes after President Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a call on Wednesday to “de-escalate” the conflict.
“At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate,” Sanders said in a statement. “I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict.”
The resolution seeks to halt the planned sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and small diameter bombs. A similar resolution was introduced in the House by Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Anti-Semite Rashida Tlaib on Wednesday.
The resolution is privileged, meaning that Sanders could call it to the floor for a vote without having to vote to advance the legislation first. It would require a simple majority to pass, although it is unclear whether the resolution would receive sufficient support from Democrats to be approved.
However, if it did pass and Mr. Biden vetoed the resolution, a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress would be needed to override the veto. Former President Trump previously vetoed three resolutions to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there was not enough support in Congress to override these vetoes.
At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a Congressional debate. https://t.co/nLoDFmLGr1— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 20, 2021