The significant instance of a congressional attempt to limit the executive domination of the arms sales field occurred in 1967. "Arms sales are far more than an economic occurence, a military relationship, or an arms control challenge—arms sales are foreign policy writ large." Executive branch officials were eager to maintain American influence and protect what they perceived to be American security interests by using foreign assistance as an element of US security policy. The inkling of congressional opposition to Exim's involvement in arms sales came in 1966 during consideration of foreign aid appropriations. The bill approved by that committee included an Administration-backed provision which would have enabled the Defense Department to buy promissory notes being held by US arms manufacturers who sold weapons to foreign governments. Congress had moved in a piecemeal fashion, through separate legislative measures and after prolonged debate, to place restrictions on credit sales of military equipment to foreign countries.