Wednesday, Aug 21

Democrats press Trump gov't to stop Saudi arms sales

US introduced a series of measures tackling the Trump administration’s invocation of emergency powers to transfer arms to S.Arabia and the UAE, supplementing similar bipartisan efforts in the Senate.
13.06.2019 - 16:30

House Democrats introduced new legislation Wednesday to stop Donald Trump's administration from following through on a number of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

REPUBLICANS REMINDED THE $8.1 BILLION ARMS SALE

One resolution, introduced by congressman Ted Lieu, would block all 22 arms sales recently approved by the White House.

"The emergency declaration is nothing more than an egregious abuse of power by an administration that doesn’t like being told 'no'," Lieu said in press release. "There is no emergency, but there is a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians with US-made weapons and a Congress that is tired of being complicit," he added.

Other measures were introduced to the House by lawmakers David Cicilline, Abigail Spanberger and Tom Malinowski that deal more specifically with transfers of "precision-guided munitions" which have been largely accused of being responsible for civilian casualties in the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen.

Last month, Trump invoked a rarely used provision of US arms control laws to circumvent Congress and authorize weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies. While arms sales usually go through a 30-day congressional review period, the provision allows for this process to be skipped in the case of an emergency.

Congress was notified by the Trump administration of the invocation and was shown a deal comprising 22 separate arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan valued at $8.1 billion.