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Trump Vetoe's congressional efforts to block Saudi arms sales



WASHINGTON (AP) – On Wednesday, President Donald Trump vetoed a trio of Congressional resolutions designed to prevent his government from bypassing Congress and providing billions of dollars in arms and maintenance support to Saudi Arabia and the United States Arab Emirates for sale.

Last month, Mike Pompeo cited threats from Iran as a reason to approve the US $ 8.1 billion arms sale to the two US allies in the Persian Gulf, who are Tehran's enemies, to bypass the Congressional review angry lawmakers. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate teamed up to introduce resolutions to block arms sales in a way that was perceived as a bipartisan rebound on Trump's foreign policy.

The White House had argued that stopping the sale would send out a signal that the United States is not doing so as its partners and allies, especially at a time when the threats against it are increasing. The weapons package included thousands of precision-guided ammunition, other bombs, and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the leading Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led the effort, but was supported by two Trump GOP allies in Congress: Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky in Congress over the close ties the Trump administration to the Saudis caused by the Saudi Arabia's high civilian casualties in the Yemeni war led by Saudi Arabia ̵

1; a US-backed military campaign – and the assassination of US-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents , Trump's decision in May to resell the arms further fueled tensions. Chairman Eliot Engel, D-NY, said it was a slap in the face of Congress and accused the Trump administration of using threats from Iran as a "convenient excuse" to enforce the sale.


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