In response to the expected introduction of the National Security Powers Act, Oxfam America’s Senior Manager for Humanitarian Policy Scott Paul said,
“Every day, millions of people’s lives are impacted by the violence and instability of armed conflict. It is the biggest driver of catastrophic hunger, which has increased 6 times over since the pandemic began. With the National Security Powers Act, Congress is taking an important step to bring US national security decisions – and their impact on communities across the globe – to light.
“Too often, the United States government makes life-and-death decisions to use military force or sell arms without due deliberation. These decisions should not be made at the whim of the President - they should be subject to public scrutiny and the will of the people.
“In particular, Oxfam applauds the sponsors’ proposal to require Congressional approval for the sale of certain deadly weapons. Past administrations have forced through arms sales to countries with abysmal human rights records – and we’ve seen the deadly consequences. Had this legislation been in effect during the Trump administration, the bipartisan opposition to arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – which have used weapons purchased from the US to commit terrible violations of international law in Yemen – could have been stopped, saving lives and pushing leaders for peace.
“We hope Congress moves swiftly to consider and ultimately adopt this potentially lifesaving legislation.”