A group of bipartisan lawmakers voted Thursday to stop the push from the Trump Administration to expedite arms sales to Gulf countries.
What We Know:
- Trump was pushing to swerve around Congress and accomplish the $8.1 billion dollar sale despite the administration declaring an emergency.
- Last month, the administration declared the emergency to stop the influence of Iran in the Middle East. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo stated that he “determined that an emergency exists, which requires the immediate sale of the defense articles and defense services” to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan.
- This plan was halted due to the Senate vote. Even though the vote was less than two-thirds and Trump is expected to veto this ruling, it was symbolic in showing how both parties are against involving themselves with Saudi Arabia. This is due to the killing of the Saudi “Washington Post” journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
- Senator Bob Menendez, known as a top dog Democrat for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated on the Senate floor “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 also stated, “Stand up for the proposition that we won’t let any allies, just because they’re an ally, kill, with impunity, a journalist—something that we cherish under our Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the freedom of expression under the First Amendment…”
- Along with Thursday’s news from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard stating it had shot down a US spy drone after it entered into the country, this issue is just getting started.
Hopefully, Trump sees that this is not the move.