Senate's bipartisan talks on ICC sanctions break down ( )

Archived version

Bipartisan talks in the Senate over possible sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) have hit a standstill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Deciding how strongly to respond to the court's decision to seek an arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become a politically thorny issue ahead of the 2024 election.

  • Discussions between top Senate Democratic and GOP negotiators have hit a wall, two sources familiar with the talks told Axios.
  • No discussions between the groups led by Foreign Relations Committee chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the panel's top Republican are planned.
  • Cardin, though, is continuing to talk with Republicans not on the committee about a response to the ICC's move, one of the sources said.

Republicans have demanded a vote on a House bill that slaps sanctions on the ICC, while Democrats have pushed for a more tame approach.

The absence of a bipartisan solution in the Senate could doom any chances of Congress passing an ICC-related bill, shifting the responsibility for disciplining the court onto the White House.

The big picture: Republicans have used the ICC discussions to shine a light on internal Democratic divisions over Israel.

  • Republicans have been in near lockstep in their support of Israel, but Democrats have dealt with differences between moderates and progressives over Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza.
  • Some Democrats have voiced support for sanctions against the ICC, but others are weary about permanently damaging the U.S. relationship with the court.

The White House also has publicly said that it does not support sanctions against the ICC.

Catch up quick: Lawmakers have discussed other options in responding to the ICC, including cutting U.S. support for some of the court's programs.

  • The House passed a bill last week that would require sanctions and visa restrictions on foreigners working for or funding the ICC in prosecutions targeting the U.S. and its allies.
  • Senate Republicans have demanded that the House bill get a vote in the Senate.

Behind the scenes: Republicans feel like the bipartisan talks were never real or substantial, one Senate GOP aide told Axios.

LibertyLizard , avatar

It seems absolutely insane to me that there is any level of support for this idea. What is even the allegation against the ICC? That it did something that undermined US geopolitical interests? It’s not an international court if it’s the puppet of a single country.

trevron ,

The US gov wants everyone to pretend that they are the true beacon of peace and democracy as they go around bullying other countries for their lunch money.

Look at the hague invasion act passed in 2002. They have always known that the court might hold them accountable for malicious acts in the region.

Imagine the US invading the Netherlands to protect war criminals. Absolutely no global credibility after that.

LibertyLizard , avatar

Damn that is a wild law but it came out of the bush administration and focuses on US citizens. This current bit is even more surprising to me, particularly because it’s being supported by democrats too. Democrats usually at least like to come up with a reasonable sounding excuse for their military aggression but I don’t even see that here.

  • All
  • Subscribed
  • Moderated
  • Favorites
  • random
  • [email protected]
  • All magazines