Senate votes to support Trump's weapons sale to Saudi Arabia

Paul Falls Short on Senate Effort to Block Big Saudi Arms Deal

The Senate defeated an effort to bar part of President Donald Trump's highly touted arms deal with Saudi Arabia just weeks after the president visited the kingdom.

Recent reports suggest that the Senate is likely to vote on Trump's Saudi arms deal after 2 pm Eastern Time this Tuesday in a roll call on U.S. participation in the Saudi-United Arab Emirates war and blockade on Yemen, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, with millions of human beings at risk of starvation.

Had it been successful, the vote would have been the first time in decades a congressional body voted to bar a weapons sale to Saudi Arabia.

Schumer made the comments in a statement on Monday, saying that he will throw his support behind the measure up in the Senate as early as this week because of the Arab country's weak human rights record and support of terrorism.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke at a lunch on Capitol Hill about his resolution, which failed to advance in the Senate Tuesday, that would block a portion of President Trump's $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

The resolution of disapproval is written by Democratic Sen.

Senators can challenge arms deals thanks to the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, which, as Paul explained to the press the last time around, allows senators to force a vote on arms sales by the president.

Earlier on Tuesday, Paul denounced Saudi Arabia's imprisonment of human rights activists, executions and the blockade of Yemen, and criticized supporters of the bill who say it will create USA jobs.

"I can list 20 reasons why I'm very concerned about giving them weapons, but one of those things also coming up this week is we're unhappy with Iran for developing ballistic missiles".

He also said the 47 votes in support of the resolution indicated a growing concern about the Saudi campaign in Yemen. Rather, support for the arms deal is primarily bolstered by lobbying from major USA arms makers who stand to make tens of billions of dollars exporting weapons to the Saudis to keep the Yemen war going.

"It's an arms race over there, and we're fueling it", Paul told CNN's Jake Tapper. "[These weapons] will be used to increase the humanitarian catastrophe that exists on the ground in Yemen".

"Today, a bipartisan group of senators took a stand against the escalating war Saudi Arabia is waging with Yemen", Paul said after the vote. On June 7, Senator Merkley co-sponsored the Paul-Murphy-Franken resolution against Trump's Saudi arms deal. "Why would we give weapons to a country that's funding ISIS?"

Tuesday's vote "sends an overwhelmingly clear message that it's not going to be business as usual between the US and Saudi Arabia", Andrea Prasow of Human Rights Watch told FP.

Paul said, "I think the votes will continue to grow".

"The flaws of the Saudi government are real", said Sen.



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