In-Depth: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced this resolution in conjunction with 21 other resolutions to block a total of $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates the Trump administration approved “based on a false emergency and without Congressional consent.” The package cleared the Senate, and several were later passed by the House.
President Donald Trump vetoed this resolution and the other two which reached his desk, saying it undermines the safety of “the more than 80,000 United States citizens who reside in Saudi Arabia who are imperiled from Houthi attacks from Yemen.” In his veto message, Trump added:
“[B]y restricting the ability of our partners to produce and purchase precision-guided munitions, S.J.Res. 37 would likely prolong the conflict in Yemen and deepen the suffering it causes. By undermining bilateral relationships of the United States and impeding our ability to support key partners at a critical time, the joint resolution would harm — not help — efforts to end the conflict in Yemen. And without precision-guided munitions, more — not fewer — civilians are likely to become casualties of the conflict. While I share the concerns that certain Members of Congress have expressed about civilian casualties of this conflict, the United States has taken and will continue to take action to minimize such casualties, including training and advising the Saudi-led Coalition forces to improve their targeting processes.”
This legislation has the support of seven bipartisan cosponsors, including four Republicans and three Democrats.
Of Note: The Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress 30 calendar days before it concludes a foreign military sale to a non-major ally and allows Congress to modify or reject the sale using expedited procedures.
After a disapproval resolution is introduced in the Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee has 10 calendar days to report it, and if no action is taken the lawmaker introducing it can force a floor vote on a motion to discharge the resolution. If it succeeds, the resolution is then considered with overall debate limited to 10 hours. The House doesn’t have a discharge procedure, although the resolution is still given expedited consideration in the chamber.
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: mark6mauno via Flickr / Creative Commons)