The Trump family’s business ties to the Saudi government have been the subject of some concern throughout his presidency, especially considering reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has bragged that he has Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor on Middle East policy, Jared Kushner, “in his pocket.” Although bin Salman denies those reports, even Republican senators are questioning the wisdom of allowing Trump to make arms deals with the Saudi government.
Trump’s arms deals benefiting Saudi Arabia to face their first test in Congress https://t.co/T3gPzp5MQa
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 12, 2019
Democrats in the Senate collectively signed on to a resolution to block those sales but needed four Republicans to join them in order to get that resolution passed. So far, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) had already signed on. On Wednesday, the fourth GOP member announced his support, as Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) publicly announced his own plan to block Trump’s power to sell arms to the Saudi government.
‘The GOP-led Senate will vote on measures that could stop the Trump administration from pushing through arms sales to Saudi Arabia over congressional objections, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, potentially tying up Senate floor time and putting some of the president’s closest allies at odds with part of his foreign policy.’
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan made comments that appeared to put him at odds with the Trump administration's decision to declare an emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates https://t.co/ecxRM6lDy0
— CNN (@CNN) June 11, 2019
It’s not hard to imagine the universal explosion of Republican heads had President Obama ever proposed selling arms to a Middle Eastern country from which some of the 9/11 attackers hailed, there is likely not enough support in the Senate to keep Trump from successfully vetoing the resolution.
‘With Senator Mike Lee joining Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Todd Young in cosponsoring 22 resolutions to disapprove of the sales, McConnell acknowledged that the vote will go ahead. However, McConnell said he supports the underlying arms sales and predicted that the Senate will not have enough votes to override a Trump veto of Congress’s attempt to stop them.’
Trump is facing a surge of bipartisan support to block his administration's arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but he can breathe a sigh of relief that none of the measures to stop him are likely to become lawhttps://t.co/zsjWWiL5Cn
— POLITICO (@politico) June 12, 2019
Republican senators in states where support for the president is even more significant are likely also concerned about the proposed sale, but none will do their job and serve as a check and balance against Trump’s most dangerous instincts. The bill will be introduced by next week and will pass, which is sure to draw criticism from the president.
‘A Senate vote on whether to discharge the resolutions from the committee could come as soon as Monday or Tuesday of next week, depending on a procedural ruling from the Senate parliamentarian, according to a Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation.’
US lawmakers are furious at @realDonaldTrump & @SecPompeo for declaring an “emergency” to push through arms sales to Saudis Arabia and the UAE. They hold a hearing today to look at ties between State Dept. & arms industry. w/ @CatieEdmondson. https://t.co/wKGPKZgPmN
— Edward Wong (@ewong) June 12, 2019
Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license