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News > Saudi Arabia

US Senate Fails to Overturn Trump's Veto on Saudi Weapons Ban

  • U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist during a signing ceremony for the

    U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist during a signing ceremony for the "Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act" in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 July 2019

Trump vetoed the U.S. Senate's weapons ban bill against Saudi Arabia this month, despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen that has been prolonged by the Gulf Kingdom's refusal to lift the siege on its neighbor to the south. 

The U.S. Senate failed on Monday to override President Donald Trump's veto of the legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the sale of certain weapons to Saudi Arabia. 


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In the first attempt to overturn the U.S. President's decision, the Senate was unable to reach the two-thirds majority that was needed to reinstate their weapons ban bill.

According to the Senate session report, the supporters of the bill had the majority of the vote, but they were unable to reach the two-thirds needed.

Even with five of the 53 Republicans supporting the override, the Senate will once again have to hold a vote to overturn Trump's veto on the weapons ban. 

The vote tallies were similar in the two subsequent roll-call votes to override vetoes of legislation blocking additional weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

In May, the Trump administration said it would go ahead with more than $8 billion in military sales, sidestepping a congressional review process.

The legislation would have blocked the sale of Raytheon Co precision-guided munitions and related equipment.

Congress’ effort was aimed at attempting to pressure the Saudi government to improve its human rights record and do more to avoid civilian casualties in a war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead an air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Congressional sentiment toward Saudi Arabia worsened after the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, at a Saudi consulate in Turkey last year.

Trump has argued that cutting off the Saudi weapons sales would weaken U.S. relations with a longtime ally and hurt U.S. competitiveness.

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