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News > Saudi Arabia

US Senate Blocks Trump's $8B Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

  • A view from the U.S. Senate side shows the U.S. Capitol Dome (L) in Washington, U.S.

    A view from the U.S. Senate side shows the U.S. Capitol Dome (L) in Washington, U.S. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 June 2019

And Trump has already vowed to veto the measures, which he did the first time it passed back in May.

With a vote of 53-45, members of the United States Senate passed a bill that would block President Donald Trump’s plan to complete a US$8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia Thursday.

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In May, President Trump bypassed Congress by invoking a rare emergency provision to declare threats to national security in order to fast-track the multi-billion dollar arms sale to the Gulf nation. The executive privilege cited an emergency which “required the immediate sale” of weapons to protect an ally against “Iranian adventurism in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East” which is threatening the region, Trump said.

The Republican-majority Senate, however, rallied itself into participating in a rare act of bi-partisan, passing three resolutions with Democrats to bar the sales one more time.

Trump has already vowed to veto the measures again, saying terminating the transaction “would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing.”

According to earlier reports from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the billion-dollar sale included ammunition, bombs, precision-guided munitions, and military support.

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said, "These weapons won't counter Iranian threats. This is all about using them in Yemen."

"What's happening in Yemen is a humanitarian disaster that has been exacerbated by the very weapons we have been giving the Saudis."

"This is a power grab, pure and simple. [It will have] lasting implications for the role of Congress in the sale of arms around the world," he said.

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