The United States Senate voted 97-3 to support an amendment to the COVID-19 budget resolution that affirmed the country’s intention to keep its embassy in Jerusalem.
It was put forward by Republican Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee.
Inhofe tweeted that the amendment “would make the US Embassy in Jerusalem permanent, effectively preventing it from being downgraded or moved. It’s an important message that we acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Pleased the Senate overwhelmingly passed the amendment @SenatorHagerty and I introduced to make sure the U.S. Embassy to Israel remains located in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. https://t.co/muXtApn8Gm— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) February 5, 2021
On the Senate floor Inhofe, said that the “amendment should not be controversial to anyone. It has been our position in the US for 25 years. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and we should have our embassy in Jerusalem.”
He referenced past Senate votes to place the US Embassy in Jerusalem: “In 1995 the same amendment was 93-5. In 2017 it was 90-0.”
Hagerty said that Jerusalem was “the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state of Israel.” He added that, “establishing this embassy is paving the way for peace across the region and should be preserved. Now our allies there know we will stand with them.”
The three opposing votes late Thursday were Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Carper of Delaware.
The vote is largely viewed as symbolic since the Biden administration has already stated that it has no intention of relocating the embassy.
When Biden was in the Senate, he supported the Congressional 1995 US Embassy Act, which mandated that the American Embassy be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama all made use of a waiver option to delay implementation of the act.
The embassy was relocated to Jerusalem only in 2018, by former US president Donald Trump.