In a rare move the Republican led senate has voted to block President Trump’s recent Saudi Arms sale.
This coming days after a report from the United Nations revealing shocking new details about Jamal Khashoggi’s death, including surveillance of Saudi officials describing how to dismember his body.
According to NPR, seven Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined all Democrats in voting for the measures blocking against sales to Saudi Arabia, each passing 53-45.
With 22 separate sales pending, the other 20 resolutions involved arms sales to other allies, including the United Arab Emirates. They were voted on en bloc, whereby four Republicans joined the Democrats in that 51-45 vote.
Though it sent a strong signal to the administration, all three Senate votes failed to get enough votes to override a veto pledged by the president.
The House must now pass a joint resolution of disapproval, which would then go to the president’s desk. It is also not expected to pass a veto.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., introduced the measures, citing Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen
“If the Senate wants to show the world that, even if you are an ally you cannot kill with impunity, this is the moment,” Menendez said on the Senate floor.
The White House said the U.S. has taken “a number of actions to help the Saudi military mitigate the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen, including training and advising the Saudi military to help them improve their targeting processes to minimize civilian casualties.”
The White House also said said halting the arms sales “would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing.”
“Saudi Arabia serves as a bulwark against the malign activities of Iran and its proxies,” the White House said, adding that the resolutions would affect the ability of American partners “to deter and defend against Iran’s hostile acts.”
The administration has said it has the authority to carry out the sales because of an “emergency” in the Gulf, citing Iran’s aggression in the region. [Read More]