Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration on Friday bypassed Congress to approve a sale to Israel of more than $100 million in tank ammunition. The U.S. State Department cited “emergency” circumstances in justifying the sale that ordinarily would have been reviewed by relevant congressional committees. In response, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
This stunning end run around Congress is unacceptable—especially after the Biden administration publicly ramped up its concerns over the massive civilian death toll in Gaza. It flies in the face of the administration’s own policies that insist on accountability for arms transfers, civilian protection, and human rights. This will only weaken the administration’s ability to pressure Israeli officials to avoid harm to civilians. And reports that these tank shells have been linked to incidents involving the deaths of journalists and other civilians call for more scrutiny of arms sales, not less. Anyone who was outraged the last time the State Department bypassed Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—arms that killed Yemeni children—should be similarly outraged again. As Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said, the public deserves better.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at firstname.lastname@example.org.