US House passes amendment to restrict F-16 sales to Türkiye
Rider passes 244-179 with strong Democratic support and 60 votes of approval coming from Republicans
The US House of Representatives approved on Thursday an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that restricts the sale of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to Türkiye.
The amendment put forward by New Jersey lawmaker Frank Pallone passed 244-179 with strong Democratic support and 60 votes of approval coming from Republicans.
It prohibits the sale or transfer of F-16s and modernization kits to Ankara unless the president certifies the transfer is in the US's national interests, and guarantees to Congress that in the 120 days prior to the transfer the Turkish government has not "violated the sovereignty of Greece, including through territorial overflights."
The president must also certify to the relevant House and Senate committees that Türkiye has not "taken steps to degrade NATO interoperability, exposed NATO to hostile actors; or degraded the general security of NATO member countries."
The process to finalize the defense bill, which is known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is lengthy, and the Senate will also have to sign off before it can be sent to US President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law. Revisions to the bill in its current form are all but certain.
The Turkish government requested F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 newly-built F-16 jets, and modernization kits for 80 F-16 C/D models that the Turkish Air Force has in its inventory.
The State Department has notified Congress that it supports the sale, and Biden last month threw his weight behind it, saying he was confident the needed congressional approval would be obtained.
"We should sell the F-16 to Turkey. I said that in December, and my position hasn’t changed since then. It’s not in our interests not to sell them. We need congressional approval to get there, and I think we’ll get there," he said.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.