During President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he and King Salman agreed on a controversial multibillion dollar arms deal. The agreement promises Saudi Arabia $110 billion worth of arms immediately and an additional $350 billion over the next 10 years.
Trump has received a significant amount of criticism for this deal from people on both sides of the aisle. Most recently, two congressmen have teamed up to demand a hearing on one specific part of the deal — the sale of “precision-guide munitions kits.”
The purpose of the kits, according to The Hill, is to turn “dumb bombs” into “smart bombs.” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida) have both taken issue with the sale of these kits.
In a letter to Rep. Ed Royce (R-California), who is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Lieu and Yoho wrote:
‘The possession of precision-guided weapons should not be conflated with possessing dynamic targeting capabilities; the ability to strike an enemy and avoid civilian casualties requires extensive training, stringent targeting approval processes and clear rules of engagement.
‘At a bare minimum, our committee has a responsibility to ensure that those capabilities are in place before allowing this sale to proceed.’
On Thursday, Lieu also introduced a resolution in Congress that would put conditions on the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia. One of the conditions would be that Trump would have to ensure that Saudi Arabia is taking as many precautions as possible to protect civilians.
In addition to the resolution introduced by Rep. Lieu, action has also been taken in the Senate. On Thursday, according to Reuters, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), and Al Franken (D-Minnesota) introduced a resolution of disapproval that will force a vote on whether or not to block part of the arms deal.
The senators named above are, like Reps. Lieu and Yoho, troubled by the sale of precision-guided munitions, as well as the sale of other “offensive weapons.”
Paul said in a statement about the deal:
‘Given Saudi Arabia’s past support of terror, poor human rights record, and questionable tactics in its war in Yemen, Congress must carefully consider and thoroughly debate if selling them billions of dollars of arms is in our best national security interest at this time.’
Learn more about the deal Trump signed last week in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images.