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Challenging the Noxious U.S.-Saudi Relationship

Sens. Chris Murphy and Todd Young are sponsoring another measure [1] to oppose arms sales to Saudi Arabia:

Two senators plan to introduce a bill Monday designed to force a vote on current and future U.S. arms sales and other military support to Saudi Arabia, saying it was time lawmakers checked President Donald Trump’s attempts to bypass Congress on foreign policy.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who both sit on the Foreign Relations Committee, marks the latest counterpunch by lawmakers who strongly oppose selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and who are outraged at the Trump administration’s recent decision to sidestep Congress on an arms deal worth billions of dollars.

“The process we are setting in motion will allow Congress to weigh in on the totality of our security relationship with Saudi Arabia, not just one arms sale, and restore Congress’s role in foreign policy-making,” Murphy said in a statement.

Murphy and Young have been two of the most consistent and active opponents of our government’s despicable Yemen policy, and they have been fighting to reassert Congress’ role in matters of war for the last several years. Young, a Republican from Indiana, has been one of a handful of senators from his party to break ranks with the administration and vote to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen. It is encouraging to see many members of Congress are standing up against executive overreach and abuse of power. The Murphy-Young legislation is just the latest example of how the president’s obnoxious subservience to the Saudis and the UAE has provoked growing dissatisfaction and resistance among our representatives in Washington. Murphy and Young’s bill complements the bipartisan effort to stop Trump’s bogus arms sale “emergency,” and it goes beyond that:

Now Murphy and Young are proposing a separate resolution that would allow Congress to vote on not only the expedited arms deal last month but to block or restrict future weapons sales and military assistance to Saudi Arabia.

Congress should use every tool available to it to challenge the administration’s unconditional support for the Saudis. Each time they succeed in passing new measures against arms sales and the war on Yemen, they increase the number of people in Congress and the public willing to speak out and criticize the noxious U.S.-Saudi relationship. Thanks to the Trump administration’s contempt for Congress and the Constitution and their equally strong enthusiasm for the Saudi government, that relationship is in worse shape than it has been in decades, and there is a large and growing backlash against our government’s continued backing for the Saudis and their crimes.

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1 Comment To "Challenging the Noxious U.S.-Saudi Relationship"

#1 Comment By Bedford On June 11, 2019 @ 11:35 am

Think back on Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s thesis that America had to ally with brutal dictators in confronting the colossal challenge posed by the Soviet Union.

One might generously suppose that Trump and his crew are doing something similar.

But the critical ingredient is missing. There is no Soviet-sized threat to justify “friendship” with Saudi Arabia.

Nothing even close.

And that’s what stinks to high heaven. The relationship is gratuitous. This isn’t 1973 or 1980, certainly not with regard to oil or geopolitics. We don’t need Saudi Arabia.

So. Why? Why are they doing this?