US Senators Seek to Block Arms Sales to Saudis, UAE Without Congress’ Approval

Middle East

Earlier, President Trump invoked a provision of the Arms Export Control Act to allow the White House to bypass congressional approval procedures to sell arms to countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

A bipartisan group of senators announced nearly two dozen joint resolutions on Wednesday to try to block the Trump administration’s effort to push through 22 US arms sales deals with Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Amman.

The effort, led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, looks to “protect and reaffirm Congress’ role of approving arms sales to foreign governments”, the lawmakers said in a statement.

Republicans Rand Paul and Todd Young, as well as Democrats Patrick Leahy, Chris Murphy, and Jack Reed, have announced support for the proposal.

Earlier, lawmakers said that they would work to block President Trump’s plans to sell some $8.1 billion in arms to the three Middle Eastern countries, citing concerns about the White House’s attempt to eliminate congressional oversight on what types of US arms can be sold and where.

President Trump informed Congress that he would push through with the 22 deals on military equipment, including everything from missiles and mortars to fighter jet engines, late last month, citing a national emergency stemming from US tensions with Iran. Ordinarily, lawmakers conduct a review of potential arms deals…

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