White House opposes Sanders push on Israeli use of American weaponry

The White House opposes Sen. Bernie Sanders’ push to force a floor debate on a measure meant to highlight how American weapons are being used in Israel’s campaign in Gaza.

The resolution is based on section 502B(c), which in this case, if passed, mandates the State Department to issue a report on how Israel’s weapons are used during its military campaign in Gaza. Importantly, it does not alter assistance to Israel on its own, though Sanders (I-Vt.) has said he’s open to conditions on military aid to the country.

Asked about Sanders’ intention to bring the measure to the floor next week, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said “we do not believe that this resolution is the right vehicle to address these issues. And we don’t think now is the right time.”

“The Israelis have indicated that they are preparing to transition their operations to a much lower intensity, and we believe that that transition will be helpful both in terms of reducing civilian casualties as well as increasing humanitarian assistance,” he continued.

Sanders is worried about Palestinians in Gaza, as more than 23,000 people have been killed by Israeli forces following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. He argues Israel should allow for more humanitarian aid to get in, in addition to occasional fighting pause to help those in need.

“We are deeply complicit in what is going on, and we have to ensure the U.S. aid is being used in line with international human rights and our own laws,” Sanders said Wednesday.