U.S. SENATE —Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after voting to block the sale of F-16 aircraft to the Government of Pakistan.
“The behavior of the Pakistani government gives me great concern regarding their commitment as an ally to the United States as we witness terrorist networks continue to operate freely in their federally administrated tribal areas,” Daines stated. “Rewarding Pakistan with U.S. fighter jets would send the wrong message and only harm our efforts to hold Pakistan accountable and make it a more reliable U.S. partner. The Obama administration is wrong for pursuing this deal, and I will continue to stand firmly against it.
Daines has long been opposed to providing military support to Pakistan. In the House, Daines voted to prohibit funds from being provided to Pakistan in Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Department (DoD) appropriations. Daines also voted for an amendment in Fiscal Year 2014 DoD appropriations to cut Overseas Contingency Operations funding for Pakistan by $600 million.
Background on S. J. Res. 31, prohibiting the proposed sale of arms to Pakistan:
- On February 11, 2016, the executive provided Congress notice of its intent to sell to Pakistan certain Major Defense Equipment, namely eight F-16 aircraft and 14 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (reprinted in the Federal Register on March 4). Also part of that notice was notification of intent to sell certain other non-Major Defense Equipment as well. ?
- Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified 30 calendar days before the executive may complete a sale of Major Defense Equipment valued at $14 million or more, or a sale of other defense articles or services valued at $50 million or more.
- The Arms Export Control Act provides for expedited consideration of a joint resolution blocking the sale, including a motion to discharge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from further consideration of such a joint resolution. ?