Evan Vucci / AP
Against the backdrop of rising tension in the Middle East, the Senate voted to take on President Trump's powers by adopting three bipartisan resolutions on Thursday blocking the administration from selling billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Seven Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined all Democrats by voting on measures blocking sales to Saudi Arabia, each of them passing 53-45.
With 22 separate sales, the remaining 20 arms sales decisions of other allies, including the United Arab Emirates. They were voted on a block, with four Republicans joining Democrats in these 51-45 votes. While sending a strong signal to the administration, all three Senate votes did not get enough votes to cancel the promised veto by the president. Parliament must now adopt a common disapproval resolution that will then go to the President's desk. Moreover, it is not expected to veto it.
Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., introduced measures citing Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemen war, where a Saudi Arabian-led coalition participated in a multi-year campaign against Hate rebels, often with catastrophic consequences for the civilian population.
"If the Senate wants to show the world that even if you are an ally who can not kill yourself with impunity, that's the time," Menenez told the Senate floor.
But the White House said the US has taken "a number of actions to help the Saudi military reduce the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen, including training and advising Saudi military to help them improve referral processes, to minimize the casualties of the civilian population. "
In a statement, the White House said a stop for arms sales "will send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at a time when threats to them are on the rise."
Saudi Arabia serves as a support against Iran's perverse activities, and its q reported that the resolutions will influence the ability of US partners to "hinder and defend Iran's hostile actions."
The administration said it had the power to sells for "a state of emergency in the Persian Gulf, quoting Iran's aggression in the region. The White House announced the emergency situation and approved the sale of weapons on May 24, the same day, when it announced the deployment of 1500 soldiers in the Gulf region.
Following last year's terrible murder of US journalist Jamal Hashogi at the Istanbul Consulate of Saudi Arabia, Congress called on Saudi Arabia to be held accountable even when the administration confirmed the US and Saudi Arabian ties. Rand Paul, who was among the handful of Republicans who voted to ban the sale of weapons, said Hashoggi on the senate floor on Thursday, saying: "There is a lot of confidence that Saudi Arabia's throne has killed a dissident with a bone he saw … he would think he would give us a pause to give Saudi Arabia or sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia. "The report concerns the Saudi prince in the murder of Jamal Hashohi" />