WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, to announce that they intend 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.

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“The U.S. is an indispensable country in helping allied nations in times of conflict,” said Durbin. “The October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel was reprehensible, and I will continue to support security aid for Israel’s defense. We also have a responsibility to ensure that arms transfers to any country—including Israel—are held to the same standards. With this amendment, we are reinforcing that key point in line with American values and preserving Congress’s oversight responsibilities.”

“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.

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Along with Durbin and 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), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

Durbin first called for a ceasefire deal to be reached between Israel and Hamas in exchange for a release of hostages and aid to Palestinians on November 2.

Durbin recently joined a number of his Senate Democratic colleagues in a letter to President Biden to work with Israel and international partners to implement a plan that will protect innocent civilian life in Gaza, deliver sustained humanitarian aid, and work toward the long term goals of ending Hamas’s threat, bringing hostages home, and achieving sustainable peace in the region through a two-state solution. He has also repeatedly urged cooperation by all sides to allow third party monitors in secured Gaza hospitals so they can continue to operate free from conflict.

In November, Durbin led 106 of his colleagues in a letter to President Biden calling on his Administration to designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians present in the United States.

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