WASHINGTON, D.C. — By a vote of 244-179, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits the transfer or sale of F-16s or F-16 upgrade kits to Turkey.
The amendment throws a hurdle in front of U.S. President Biden’s plans to sell F-16s to Turkey to secure Turkish approval for the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO.
The measure was sponsored by Frank Pallone Jr., co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Gus Bilirakis.
During last night’s debate, Rep. Pallone laid out the case for adopting the amendment:
“The sale of American advanced fighter jets to Turkey will not incentivize Erdogan to suddenly transform into a good ally. More likely these weapons will lead to further death and destruction in the region. For far too long the United States has allowed Erdogan to dictate his terms and hide behind Turkey’s status as a NATO ally. He has avoided facing real-life consequences greater than a slap on the wrist for his flagrant violations of international law at home and abroad and it’s time we finally say enough is enough. This amendment will do just that and help take the leveraging power out of Erdogan’s dangerous autocratic hands.”
Arguments by supporters of Turkey in Congress that Erdogan was a “reliable ally” had little effect.
Joining Representatives Pappas, Bilirakis, and Pallone as co-sponsors of the bipartisan measure are Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV).