Trump’s Planned Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Won’t Be Blocked
Trump’s Planned Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Won’t Be Blocked
Lawmakers challenge Trump official on Saudi arms sale
15 June, 2019, 01:33
The ranking Republican on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee, Michael McCaul, said at a hearing on Wednesday that he supports "the efforts of Saudi Arabia to defend themselves against Iran", but "the recent use of this emergency authority, in my judgment, was unfortunate".
"I'm angry because, once again, the administration wants to cut Congress out of the picture", Rep.
The Trump administration faced stiff bipartisan resistance in the House on Wednesday to its plan to sell $8.1 billion worth of precision-guided munitions and other lethal weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday surmised there "would still be a vote triggered", and "presumably it'll be very similar to the resolution of disapproval under a more traditional approach - at least that's what we think the parliamentarian believes". Members are expected to follow up on the hearing by pursuing a set of disapproval resolutions to try to block the arms deals from going forward.
At present, more than 50 senators are expected to vote for the 22 resolutions to block the President, including four Republicans: Senators Graham, Todd Young, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee.
Justin Amash, the joint resolution "would reject all 22 sales the Administration is attempting to ram through under a phony emergency declaration", according to a statement released by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat.
"The administration is trying to abuse the law in order to sell weapons to supposed ally Saudi Arabia and the UAE".
"Here's the reality: there is no emergency", Engel said.
In particular, several members were upset that Pompeo briefed them three days before he made the emergency declaration and did not mention it. Clarke declined to say when exactly the decision was made to declare the emergency, but said the threat intensified in those three days to warrant the emergency - which several members did not buy.
But Democrats were not having it - and Republicans were clearly uncomfortable with having been circumvented as well.
This year, Congress passed a bipartisan resolution to withdraw the United States from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
Lawmakers pressed Cooper on who was involved in the decision over the sale, and whether Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, was among them.
Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are expected to unveil four resolutions of disapproval on Wednesday, each created to push back on elements of President Donald Trump's plan to conclude the arms deals via an emergency executive order.
Congress is typically first informally notified about an arms sale, allowing lawmakers a chance to work with an administration about any concerns.
Some members had delayed these sales because of their concerns over the Saudi and Emirati coalition's alleged war crimes in Yemen - using US -made bombs to target civilians and civilian infrastructure - as well as their human rights abuses at home.
"These sales and the associated emergency certification are meant to address the military need of our partners in the face of an urgent regional threat posed by Iran", Cooper testified.
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