REPS LIEU AND MCGOVERN INTRODUCE BILL TO IMPROVE HOUSE OVERSIGHT OF ARMS SALES
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressmen Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced the Arms Sale Oversight Act, which would align House procedures for reviewing major arms sales with existing Senate procedures under the Arms Export Control Act. The bill makes it possible for any House member to force debate on the House floor in the event that the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) does not debate a contested arms sale.
Upon introduction, Mr. Lieu said:
“The point of this is to ensure Congress is meeting its commitment of conducting good governance. The Arms Export Control Act is meant to guarantee Congress oversees U.S. arm sales but the current procedures often leave HFAC members in the dark. In a time where arms sales with countries like Saudi Arabia are worthy of intense Congressional scrutiny, House Members shouldn’t face roadblocks to doing our jobs. Like our Senate colleagues, we should have the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate and debate arms sales to make sure they’re in our nation’s best interest.”
Upon introduction, Mr. McGovern said:
"One of the most important responsibilities facing every member of Congress is to determine what is and isn’t in our national security, defense, and economic interest. Just as critically, it’s our job to determine whether America’s actions reflect the very best of our democratic values. Right now, members of the Senate have the ability to bring up for debate the merits of problematic arms sales. Our important bill would extend that ability to the House, and would allow us to ensure that America’s interests – and our values – align with our actions. It’s the right thing to do.”
This bill is supported by the Project on Government Oversight.