Republican-Led Senate Votes to Block Trump Administration’s Saudi Arms Sale

FILE - In this March 20, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. There is little enthusiasm among U.S. allies for Jared …
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Republican-led Senate voted Thursday to block the Trump administration’s proposed $8.1 billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other allied countries.

In a bipartisan 52-45 vote, the Senate passed 22 resolutions aiming at blocking the Trump administration’s weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. The White House has threatened to veto the measure, arguing that it would “send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke exclusively to Breitbart News in May, explaining that the emergency provision would advance America’s interests and further protect Middle East allies from Iran’s increasing threats.

“It is significant that we are not only demonstrating our will to continue to help them support and defend their countries and deter these threats, but the challenge from the Islamic Republic of Iran that we face,” Pompeo told Breitbart News.

“We’ve seen the heightened tensions over the last handful of weeks, so our expectation is that the risks will continue to stay at a heightened level, so it is appropriate and necessary to get these arms sales moving forward,” he continued.

Breitbart News added:

The arms sales were previously blocked by members of Congress more than a year ago. While most foreign arms sales are approved by Congress, the State Department in this case is drawing upon an authority under Section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act that allows the administration to undertake arms sales in an emergency.

The State Department has determined the increased threat-stream from Iran constitutes an emergency.

The vote comes in the wake of Iran’s attack on a U.S. drone in international waters.

“Iran made a big mistake. This drone was in international waters, clearly. We have it all documented scientifically, not just words,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He said the U.S. “will not stand for it” and warned that the world will “soon find out” America’s response.

“This is a new wrinkle, this is a new fly in the ointment what happened, shooting down the drone, and this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you,” he continued, adding, “We’re very prepared for Iran. We’ll see what happens.”


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