As readers of the Round-Up know, every year the annual National Defense Authorization bill (NDAA) is an occasion – in both the House and Senate — for members to submit many, many, many, many (etc) amendments (see the Round-Up’s tracking of amendments offered in the House to the FY23). Many of these amendments have nothing to do with the underlying bill. All of them reflect pet issues/initiatives of various members of Congress, including with respect to the Middle East. As such, regardless of whether the amendments are ever voted on, they are worth paying attention to, offering a valuable window into the intentions/plans/aspirations of lawmakers.
The table below tracks all Middle East-related amendments (that I could find) offered in the Senate to HR 7900, the FY23-NDAA-Turned-FY23-Omnibus (to be updated as more amendments are submitted, and as actions are taken on amendments).
A few things to note:
- The amendments listed in the table are NOT seeking to amend the House-passed HR 7900 text. The Senate’s consideration of the bill will be based on SA 5499 – an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” offered by the chair and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, comprised of the SASC-passed version of the FY23 NDAA. For full Middle East-related details of that text, see the 7/22/22 edition of the Round-Up.
- Many of these amendments are identical to (or nearly identical to) existing bills — sometimes major legislation — previously introduced by senators but having gone nowhere. By re-introducing the initiates as amendments, senators are in fact seeking to get their initiatives passed without any normal consideration/oversight/debate (a tactic that is often successful — this is how laws often get made, notwithstanding the comforting fairy tale many of us learned from Schoolhouse Rock).
- The FY23 NDAA (HR 7900 — passed by the House, and S. 4543 — by the Senate Armed Services Committee) includes authorizations not only for DOD but also for Military Construction, and Department of Energy. Amendments offered in the Senate include full authorization bills for other accounts, including State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) and Intelligence.
This table will be updated as more amendments are introduced or voted on.
Last update: 10/12/22 at 10:17am EST
||Title/Summary||Related bill(s) previously introduced||Final status|
|SA 5523||Repeal AUMFs||Durbin (D-IL)||To add a section entitled, “Termination Of Authorizations For The Use Of Military Force And Declarations Of War.”|
|SA 5569||Iran/Human Rights||Toomey (R-PA) and Cardin (D-MD)||To add a section titled the “Masih Alinejad Harassment and Unlawful Targeting Act of 2022” or the “Masih Alinejad HUNT Act of 2022”, requiring a report and the imposition of sanctions – with limited exceptions/waivers, on persons “responsible for or complicit in abuses toward dissidents on behalf of the government of Iran”and on “foreign financial institutions conducting significant transactions with persons responsible for or complicit in abuses toward dissidents on behalf of the government of Iran.”||See: S.3347 (introduced by Toomey on 12/8/21); for further details see reporting in the 12/10/21 and 12/3/21 editions of the Round-Up.|
|SA 5608||Targeting Iran/nuclear diplomacy
||Hagerty (R-TN)||To add a section entitled, “Congressional Review Of Certain Actions Relating To Sanctions Imposed With Respect To Iran” As described by its backers (when it was intro’d as a freestanding bill), this legislation is “an effort that would enable Congress to approve—or block—any effort by the administration to suspend or terminate U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime.”||See: S. 488, (introduced by Hagerty 2/25/21 and currently having 41 all-Republican cosponsors). As a reminder, Hagerty also tried (and failed) to add this text to the December 2021 Continuing Resolution, and as an amendment to last year’s NDAA. See previous reporting in the Round-Up – 2/26/21, 3/5/21, 3/12/21, 12/3/21|
|SA 5662||Targeting UNRWA & Palestinian Education||Kennedy (R-LA)||To add a section entitled, “Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education,” including requiring the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress “reviewing the curriculum used in schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or located in Gaza and controlled by any other entity.”||See: HR 2374, the “Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act” (the version before HFAC’s markup inserting language targeting the use of the word “apartheid”). For further information see the 4/9/21, 9/9/22 and 9/16/22 editions of the Round-Up.|
|SA 5669||Targeting boycotts of Israel and/or settlements||Kennedy (R-LA)||To require “a report on whether any contractor of the Department of Defense participates in or supports any organized effort or organization that, based on a belief that Israel is oppressing Palestinians, promotes a boycott of, removal of investments from, or economic sanctions against Israel or any person or entity in Israel.”||On 7/29/33 Jewish Insider reported on remarks by Cotton (R-AR) stating his plan to introduce legislation to “prevent the military from contracting with any companies that engage in boycotts of Israel.” For details see the 7/22/22 edition of the Round-Up|
|SA 5684||Repeal AUMFs||Kaine (D-VA)||To add a section entitled, “Repeal of Authorizations for Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”||See: Young, Kaine Call For Repeal of 2002 AUMF Ahead of 20th Anniversary|
|SA 5702||Targeting Iran/nuclear diplomacy||Cruz (R-TX) + 7 Senate Republicans||To add a new section entitled “Termination Of Certain Waivers Of Sanctions With Respect To Nuclear Activities In Or With Iran.”||See: S. 3857, (introduced 3/16/22 by Cruz & currently having 12 all-Republican cosponsors), which earlier this month Cruz tried to attach to the 2023 State Department Authorization bill during SFRC mark-up; for details see the 3/18/22 edition of the Round-Up.|
|SA 5707||Targeting Iran/ potential investments in US||Cruz (R-TX)||To add a section entitled “Review By Committee On Foreign Investment In The United States Of Real Estate Purchases Or Leases Near Military Installations Or Military Airspace.” The section focuses on acts if a foreign person “owned or controlled by..acting for or on behalf of, or receives subsidies from” a list of countries including the Islamic Republic of Iran||See: S. 1278, (introduced 4/21/21 by Cruz and currently having two Republican cosponsors); for details see the 4/23/21 edition of the Round-Up|
|SA 5716||Targeting Palestinians and UNRWA||Scott (R-FL)||To add a section (misleadingly) entitled, “Stop Taxpayer Funding of Hamas Act”, legislating that (a) no US funding can go to Gaza until the President certifies that no such funds will in any way benefit Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any other terrorist organization, or anyone who in any way is linked to, or controlled/influenced by any such group, and (b) no US funds may go to Gaza via any UN agency “ unless the President certifies to the congressional committees referred to in subsection (b) that such entity or office is not encouraging or teaching anti-Israel or anti-Semitic ideas or propaganda.”||See: S. 1899 (introduced 5/27/21 by Scott and currently having three Republican cosponsors); for details see the 5/28/21 edition of the Round-Up|
|Turkey||Menendez (D-NJ)||To add a section entitled, “Limitation on transfer of F-16 Aircraft” — banning sales to “the Government of Turkey, or to any agency or instrumentality of Turkey” unless the president makes a certification to Congress related to US national interest and to Greece-Turkey.||See: Menendez (D-NJ) tweet -“An #NDAA amendment is only one tool at our disposal to advance US interests in the Eastern Med. Let me be clear: as #SFRC Chairman, I will not approve any F-16 case for Turkey until Erdogan halts his campaign of aggression across the region. Full stop.”||See: U.S. Senate Drops Amendments Restricting F-16s Sale to Turkey (Greek Reporter 10/12/22)|
|Targeting UNRWA, legislating Palestinian refugees out of existence & Adopting the IHRA definition of Antisemitism||Risch (R-ID)||To add a new subtitle to the bill entitled “UNRWA Accountability and Transparency Act”||See: S. 3467 (introduced 1/10/22 by Risch and 6 Republican cosponsors – none adeed since it was introduced) and S. 2479 (introuced by Risch 7/27/21).
This legislation: attacks/seeks to de-fund UNRWA (the organization); attacks Palestinian refugees (legislating them out of existence); delegitimizes Palestinian history/narrative/rights (by targeting the mere idea of the right of return); attacks non-violent protest of Israel via boycotts of either Israel or settlements (citing an Obama-era trade law to conflate the two); and legislates/weaponizes a definition of “antisemitism” that explicitly conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism.
For further details see the 1/14/22 edition of the Round-Up.
|Yemen||Cruz (R-TX)||To add a section entitled, “Imposition of sanctions with respect to Ansarallah“||See: S. 3532 (Introduced 1/20/22 by Cruz (R-TX) and 12 Republican cosponsors); for further details see 1/21/22 edition of the Round-Up.|
|Syria||Marshall (R-KS), Risch (R-ID) and Rounds (R-SD)||To add a section entitled, “Interagency strategy to disrupt and dismantle narcotics production and trafficking and affiliated networks linked to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.“||See: S. 3392 (introduced 12/14/21 by Marshall); for details see the 12/17/21 edition of the Round-Up. Also offered by Marshall as an amendment to the FY22 NDAA; for further details see the 11/19/21 edition of the Round-Up.
|Per list posted by random Twitter account closely following Senate NDAA, this amendment made it into the Senate bill|
|Arms Exports & Human Rights||Murray (D-WA)||To add sections entitled, “Required assessment of risk of exported weapons being used to violate principles of human rights or the law of armed conflict” and “Consideration of risk of violations of human rights or the law of armed conflict in issuing export licenses“||See: S.3558 (Introduced 2/2/22 by Murray and having no cosponsors); for details see the 2/4/22 edition of the Round-Up. (The amendment represents just a small part of the original bill)|
|Targeting Iran/nuclear diplomacy||Risch (R-ID) and Menendez (D-NJ)||To add a section entitled, “Stop Iranian Drones Act“||See: S. 3421 (introduced 12/16/21 by Menendez and Risch, and currently having 24 bipartisan cosponsors) and HR 6089 (introduced by McCaul, R-TX, passed by the House 4/27/22 and passed by the SFRC 6/9/22); for further details see the 12/17/21, 4/29/22, & 6/10/22 editions of the Round-Up.|
|MENA personnel in US Armed Forces||Stabenow (D-MI)||To add a section entitled, “Study on feasibility of gathering demographic information on Middle East and North African (MENA) personnel“|
|Targeting Iran/nuclear diplomacy||Graham (R-SC) and Menendez (D-NJ)||To add a section entitled, “Iran Nuclear Weapons Capability Monitor Act of 2022“||See: S. 4554 (introduced 7/19/22 by Graham & Menendez, and currently having no other cosponsors); for further details see the 7/22/22 edition of the Round-Up.||Per list posted by random Twitter account closely following Senate NDAA, this amendment made it into the Senate bill. On 10/11/22, Graham tweeted that this was the case.|
|Syria||Shaheen (D-NH) and Graham (R-SC)||To add a section entitled, “Modification of establishment of coordinator for detained ISIS members and relevant populations in Syria”||See: S. 4996: Introduced 9/28/22 Shaheen (D-NH) and Graham; for further details see the 9/30/22 edition of the Round-Up.|
|Saudi Arabia/WMD||Markey (D-MA) and Merkley (D-OR)||To add a new subtitle, “Stopping Activities Underpinning Development In Weapons of Mass Destruction Act” or the “SAUDI WMD Act”||See: S. 1146 (Introduced 4/15/21 by Markey and Merkley, and having no other cosponsors) — “To counter Saudi Arabia’s possible pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and for other purposes.” For further details see the 4/16/21 edition of the Round-Up.|
|Lebanon||Menendez (D-NJ)||To add a section entitled, “Assistance to Lebanese institutions of higher learning“|
|Saudi Arabia/Khashoggi Murder||Wyden (D-OR), Leahy (I-VT) and Van Hollen (D-MD)||To add a section entitled, “Report on entities connected to foreign persons identified as involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi“||See: S. 544 (introduced 2/25/19) and S. 3658 (introduced 11/27/18) [not identical to the amendment but similar objectives]|
|Targeting Iran/nuclear diplomacy||Scott (R-SC) and Hagerty (R-TN)||To add a section entitled, “Repeal Sunset Provision of Iran Sanctions Act of 1996.”||See: S. 4746, (introduced 8/2/22 and having 3 bipartisan cosponsors)|
|Targeting Palestinians/United Nations||Scott (R-SC) and Rosen (D-NV)||To add a section entitled the “COI Elimination Act”, to withhold from the U.S. contribution to the UN Human Rights Council an amount equal to 22% of the amount budgeted for the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian (the COI), unless the Secretary of State certifies that the COI has been abolished.||See: S. 4389 (introduced 6/14/22 by Scott and Rosen and having 11 cosponsors); for further details see the 6/17/22 edition of the Round-Up.|
|Egypt||Durbin (D-IL), Murphy (D-CT), Leahy (I-VT), Merkley (D-OR), Brown (D-OH)||To add a section stating: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Military Financing Program for assistance for Egypt for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 shall be disbursed to the Foreign Military Sales Trust Fund.”||Also see Durbin press release:|
|Iran||Padilla (D-CA)||To add a section entitled “Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal“||See: S. 2607 (introduced 8/4/21 by Padilla D-CA and currently having 69 bipartisan cosponsors); for further details see the 8/6/21 edition of the Round-Up|
|SA 5978||Yemen||Lee (R-UT)||To add language extending the prohibition “on in-flight re-feuling of non-United States aircraft that engage in hostilities in the ongoing civil war in Yemen”|
|SA 6001||Syria||Lee (R-UT)||To add a section entitled, “Prohibition on use of funds to provide assistance to vetted Syrian opposition“|
|SA 6058||US-Israel cyber sharing||Risch (R-ID)||To add a section entitled, “Sharing cyber capabilities and related information with foreign operational partners” including Israel.
|SA 6082||Egypt||Murphy (D-CT)||To add a section entitled, “Transfer of Excess Oliver Hazard Perry-Class Guided-Missile Frigates to Egypt.”|
|SA 6083||Egypt/Jordan- IMF||Murphy (D-CT)||To add a section entitled “Review of Loan Surcharge Policy of International Monetary Fund” [incl: “Surcharges increased Ukraine’s borrowing costs on its IMF lending program by nearly 27 percent, Jordan’s by 72 percent, and Egypt’s by over 104 percent.“]|
|SA 6102||Regional security/Israel normalization||Risch (R-ID)||To add a section entitled, “Authority to enter into a cooperative agreement to protect civilians in Iraq and on the Arabian peninsula from weaponized unmanned aerial systems.” [Includes Sense of Congress that the US “should improve cooperation with allies, including Israel, and like-minded partners to systematically map out, expose, and disrupt missile and drone procurement networks used by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and other Iranian proxies targeting United States forces and assets and United States allies and partners in the region”
|SA 6106||Turkey||Thune (R-SD)||To add a section entitled, “Procurement of S-400 air defense missile system from Republic of Turkey and transfer to Ukraine.”|
|SA 6140||Iran||Toomey (R-PA)||To add a title: “Masih Alinejad HUNT Act of 2022″||See: S. 3347|
|SA 6161||civilian casualties||Warren (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Leahy (I-VT), & Durbin (D-IL)||To add a section entitled, “Annual report on civilian casualties in connection with united states military operations.”||See: S. 4108|
|SA 6178||Yemen||Merkley (D-OR)||To add a new section entitled, “Guidance on investigations of use of United States-origin defense articles in Yemen.”|
|SA 6180||Saudi Arabia/UAE/Yemen||Merkley (D-OR)||To add a new section entitled, “Ceasefire Protection Measures” [related to “any ceasefire or cessation of hostilities among the military forces aligned with and under the control of the internationally recognized Government of Yemen, Ansar Allah, the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition, and any other armed group”]|
|SA 6181||Saudi Dissidents||Merkley (D-OR) & Markey (D-MA)||To add a section entitled, “Protection of Saudi Dissidents“||See: HR 1392|
|SA 6207||Israeli Settlements||Markey (D-MA), Van Hollen (D-MD), Sanders (I-VT) and Baldwin (D-WI)||To add a section entitled, “Report on Israeli settlement activity in occupied West Bank.“|
|SA 6236||US-Israel Artificial Intelligence Cooperation||Rubio (R-FL)||To add a section entitled,”United States – Israel artificial intelligence center“||See: S. 2120||Per list posted by random Twitter account closely following Senate NDAA, this amendment made it into the Senate bill|
|SA 6267||Egypt/MFO||Rosen (D-NV)||To add a section entitled, “Sense of Congress and Briefing on Multinational Force & Observers“|
|SA 6291||Human Rights||Cornyn (R-TX)||To add a section entitled, “Review and controls on export of items with critical capabilities to enable human rights abuses.“|
|SA 6314||Iran/Turkey||Shaheen (D-NH) and 10 bipartisan cosponsors||To add a new subtitle to the bill: “Black Sea Security“. Includes: “the United States should explore efforts to rebuild trust and bilateral relations with Turkey, a key NATO Ally in the Black Sea region and a bulwark against Iran“|
|SA 6334||Egypt||Brown (D-OH)||To add a section entitled, “Report on Political Prisoners in Egypt”|
|SA 6343||ISIS||Van Hollen (D-MD)||To add a section entitled, “Report on ongoing threat posed by ISIS“|
|SA 6344||Human Rights||Van Hollen (D-MD)||To add a section entitled, “Upholding Human Rights Abroad“|
|SA 6345||Turkey||Van Hollen (D-MD)||To add a section entitled, “Limitation on transfer of F-16 aircraft“||See: Menendez (D-NJ) tweet -“An #NDAA amendment is only one tool at our disposal to advance US interests in the Eastern Med. Let me be clear: as #SFRC Chairman, I will not approve any F-16 case for Turkey until Erdogan halts his campaign of aggression across the region. Full stop.”||See: U.S. Senate Drops Amendments Restricting F-16s Sale to Turkey (Greek Reporter 10/12/22)|
|SA 6370||Syria||Rubio (R-FL)||To add a section entitled, “Modification Of Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019.”|
|SA 6371||Green light for US defense activities in the Gulf||Cotton (R-IN)||To delete a section in the bill and repleace it with text reading: ““(c) Rule of Construction.–Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit– (1) United States counterterrorism cooperation with Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates against al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or associated forces; (2) the United States Armed Forces from protecting members of the United States Armed Forces and United States persons and interests in the region against hostile action by Iran or groups backed by Iran; (3) support intended to assist Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, or other members of the Saudi-led coalition in defending against threats emanating from Yemen to their sovereignty or territorial integrity, the sovereignty or territorial integrity of any other United States partner or ally, or the safety of United States persons or property, including– (A) threats from ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, or unmanned aerial vehicles; and (B) explosive boat threats to international maritime traffic; (4) the provision of humanitarian assistance; or (5) the preservation of freedom of navigation.”|
|SA 6379||Israel/UN||Risch (R-ID) & Whitehouse (D-RI)||To add a new subtitle to the bill: “Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Act of 2022“. Includes adding new required reporting on UN General Assembly resolutions “specifically related to Israel that are opposed by the United States”
|SA 6435||Iran||Cantwell (D-WA) and Wicker (R-MS)||To add a new division to the bill: “Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022“. Includes section entitled, “Assessment of Iran sanctions relief on Coast Guard operations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”||Per list posted by random Twitter account closely following Senate NDAA, this amendment made it into the Senate bill|
|SA 6443||Iran||Cantwell (D-WA) and Wicker (R-MS)||To add a new division to the bill: “Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022“. Includes section entitled, “Assessment of Iran sanctions relief on Coast Guard operations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”|
||Iran & Syria/FARA
||Cornyn (R-TX) and Whitehouse (D-RI)||To add a new section entitled “Treatment of exemptions under FARA” to add a list of “countries of concern” including Syria and Iran.|
|SA 6453||Iran||Graham (R-SC) and Menendez (D-NJ)||To add a new section entitled, “Iran Nuclear Weapons Capability and Terrorism Monitoring Act of 2022“|
|SA 6465||US-Israel AI cooperation||Rubio (R-FL)||To add a section entitled, “United States – Israel Artificial Intelligence Center Act”||See: S. 2120|
|SA 6470||Iran & Syria/FARA||Cornyn (R-TX) and Whitehouse (D-RI)||To add a new section entitled “Treatment of exemptions under FARA” to add a list of “countries of concern” including Syria and Iran.|
|SA 6474||Oil Cartels (code for KSA/OPEC)||Grassley (R-IA) Klobuchar (D-MN), Lee (R-UT), Leahy (I-VT), & Durbin (D-IL)||To add a new title entitled, “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2022” or “NOPEC”