Home/Daniel Larison/Senate Passes Disapproval Resolutions on Arms Sales

Senate Passes Disapproval Resolutions on Arms Sales

The Senate has so far passed two of the three resolutions of disapproval in response to Trump’s bogus “emergency.” The New York Timesreports on the first vote:

The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.

In the first of a series of three back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing last October of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Oxfam’s Scott Paul was following the votes:

The first two resolutions passed with only 53 votes, but the votes show that there are enough opponents of both the war on Yemen and the current management of the U.S.-Saudi relationship to get a majority again and again. The third vote that covered the remaining arms sales is expected to pass. It was important that the Senate pass these resolutions to demonstrate that they object to the arms sales themselves and to the outrageous abuse of power by the president in trying to go around Congress with the made-up “emergency” declaration from last month. There were not as many votes to disapprove of the sales as many of us had hoped there might be, and there aren’t enough votes to override Trump’s expected veto, but the majority in the Senate has now demonstrated repeatedly that it does not support our unauthorized involvement in the war on Yemen and rejects the president’s efforts to funnel more weapons to the Saudi coalition. Both U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen and the arms sales are continuing mostly because of the president, and he owns the consequences of this despicable policy.

The next step for the Senate is to proceed with other legislation aimed at cutting off support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE and to put amendments in the defense authorization bill that will do the same thing. Congress should also move to close the loophole in the law that the president abused so flagrantly.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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