On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted on a resolution introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (IN-VT), which was aimed at prompting the State Department to examine the potential human rights violations stemming from the use of U.S. arms in Israel’s Gaza campaign. The motion to table the resolution was passed 72-11, with Colorado’s Democratic Senators, John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, voting with the majority.


Following the extensive military operations in Gaza, the resolution sought an immediate review of the United States’ contribution in the form of weaponry amidst reports of considerable civilian casualties and concerns over breaches of international human rights norms.

In a statement reflecting on the vote’s consequences, Hickenlooper addressed the dire circumstances in Gaza, citing the “high rate of civilian casualties and ongoing humanitarian crisis.”

Nevertheless, he said in a news release that the proposed expedited review process by Sanders as overly “rushed,” suggesting a more measured approach was necessary.

Prior to the Senate’s action, a significant mobilization effort was underway. The Friends Committee on National Legislation, in conjunction with a coalition comprising 70 religious and human rights entities, issued a letter to Congress. This letter underscored the imperative for conscientious oversight and accountability in the deployment of U.S. military aid, highlighting the moral and legal imperatives tied to these foreign policy choices.

Closer to home, 41 community groups in Colorado coalesced, penning a joint letter to Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet. The letter, a call for legislative support for the resolution, underscored the depth of concern within the state regarding the conflict and the utilization of U.S. military assets.