F15Flash 90

Two key Democratic holdouts in the House and Senate have signed off on a major arms sale to Israel, including 50 F-15 fighter jets worth more than $18 billion, after facing intense pressure from the Biden administration and pro-Israel advocates to allow the transaction to move forward, three US officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Monday.

The decision, which has not been previously reported, underscores the substantial appetite in Washington to continue the flow of arms to Israel despite concerns from younger members of Congress that the United States should use its leverage to pressure Israel to reduce the intensity of the war and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

According to The Washington Post, after months of holding up the arms sale, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, signed off on the transaction several weeks ago.

Meeks and Cardin are two of four lawmakers who can effectively veto a foreign military sale. In the case of the F-15 and munitions package, the two top Republicans on the committees — Sen. James E. Risch of Idaho and Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas — signed off on the sale months ago.

If ultimately approved, the transaction would be one of the largest arms sales to Israel since the war began.