By Debbie Gregory.
Congress introduced Legislation on May 24th to stop part of President Trump’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
A bill of disapproval was introduced in the Senate by Republican Rand Paul (KY) and Democrats Chris Murphy (CT) and Al Franken (MN) to force a vote to block part of the sale of arms. On May 19th,the Senate Foreign Relations Committee received formal notice of the pending sale.
Once Congress is formally notified of plans of an arms sale, under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, a senator is allowed to force a vote on the arms sale. The same three senators introduced a similar resolution last year to block the sale of $1.15 billion of tanks and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. Their resolution was overwhelmingly defeated.
When President Trump visited Saudi Arabia, they agreed to purchase $110 billion of U.S. arms with options of as much as $350 billion over ten years. These lawmakers want to block approximately $500 million of the sale that includes precision-guided munitions and other offensive weapons.
Rand Paul cited Saudi Arabia’s past support of terror and their poor human rights record. He asked if this sale is in the best interest of the United States’ national security.
Members of the House also took action on the sale. Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote to the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee requesting a hearing to review the sale of the precision-guided munitions.
President Trump stated that he wants to encourage international weapons sales as a way to create jobs in the United States.
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