US lawmakers adopt amendment restricting sale or transfer of F-16s and modernisation kits to Turkey

F-16 fighter jets Turkey

With a vote of 244-179, the U.S. House adopted an ANCA-backed amendment spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co Chair Frank Pallone Jr., Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Congressman Gus Bilirakis, restricting the sale or transfer of F-16s or F-16 modernization kits to Turkey.

Rep. Pallone rallied Congressional support for the amendment during floor debate last night. “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,” argued Pallone.

Former Congressional Turkey Caucus Co-Chair Pete Sessions’ arguments – calling Erdogan a “reliable ally,” citing Committee jurisdictional issues, and questioning whether Turkey really violates Greek airspace – fell flat.

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).