nearvideo President Trump uses emergency authority to approve the arms sale to Saudi Arabia
John Roberts reports.
The Senate has voted to block the trump administration from the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, is launching a new challenge for President Donald Trump’s Alliance with the country in the midst of the rising tensions in the Middle East.
Trump has promised to veto the measures. The White house said, stopping the sales would “send a message that the United States abandon its partners and allies in the moment, if threats to them are increasing.”
While all of the decisions of the rejection is likely to pass the house, supporters fell short of a veto-proof margin. Two of the resolutions passed with 53 votes in favour, while another group was approved narrowly, with 51 votes. Off of a veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the house of representatives and the Senate.
In total, there were 22 resolutions, one for each of the individual sales. But most of the decisions were avoided as a package, tie up the Senate with lengthy debates about each of them.
Seven Republicans with Trump some of the arms sales: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Todd Young of Indiana to reject broke at least.
The vote came against the backdrop of heightened US tensions with Iran. Iran shot down a U.S. drone on Thursday, a move trump declared, “a very big mistake.” Congressional leaders received a closed door briefing on the situation at the Capitol and were invited to the White house in the afternoon, the meeting with Trump.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo cited threats from Iran if it agrees to authorize an emergency, the weapons sales in may. The Saudis have recently launched a series of attacks from the Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen face.
“Reject these sales at this time and under these circumstances, the reward of recent Iranian aggression and to encourage further Iranian escalation,” said Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the Chairman of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate. Risch added that the blocking of the sale, the “promotion miscalculation on the part of the Iranians would, it will be devastating.”
The sale of weapons, with an estimated value of US $ 8 billion, included in the delivery of precision-guided munitions, other bombs and Munitions and aircraft maintenance support.
To close Opposition in Congress, US-Saudi relations escalated after the assassination of the US-American columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the agents of the Kingdom last year. But a small group of deputies at an early stage, the concern over the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen for years.
Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the war in the Yemen was one of the reasons for his opposition to the sale of weapons.
“These are bombs, which we know, have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen, patients in hospitals, children on school buses,” Menendez said. The conflict in Yemen, thousands of civilians and left has killed millions more are on the verge of starvation. Menendez has called the humanitarian situation “an incomprehensible moral tragedy.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. C., delivered an impassioned speech from the Senate to criticize Saudi Arabia’s behaviour ” personally “disrespectful.”
“My relationship with Saudi Arabia is forever changed,” he said, because the Kingdom and its relationship with the United States, “self-evident” and worry more about the “preservation of power at any price,” as their Alliance.
“You lost me, and that’s a shame,” he said.