Sending Office: Committee on Foreign Affairs – Minority Staff
I write to urge you to OPPOSE Lieu Amendment 53 to Division C – Defense. Mr. Lieu’s amendment states that none of the funds under the Defense Appropriations Act may be used to issue export licenses for the 22 arms transfers covered under the Secretary of
State’s May 24 emergency determination to Congress.
Congressional oversight efforts related to the emergency determination issued by Secretary of State Pompeo are ongoing. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on these sales just last week, and additional discussions and briefings with the State
Department are in process. However, the Lieu amendment is a blunt instrument that is an inappropriate mechanism to address the complicated nature of these discrete sales.
First, this amendment treats all 22 sales equally, rather than considering the substance and circumstances of each individual sale. At a time of increasingly heightened tensions with Iran, uniformly questioning all of these defense sales to frontline and
strategic partners like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates challenges our commitment to our shared strategic interests in the region.
Second, for several of these cases, no Department of Defense funds are involved in the issuance of export licenses. They are solely a State Department function and are not applicable to this appropriation.
I strongly urge you to vote NO on the misguided and uninformed amendment and OPPOSE politicizing these sales to score points at the expense of careful and ongoing oversight.
Committee on Foreign Affairs
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