US Senate passes bill to block Saudi arms sales

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: The Senate on Thursday passed a resolution that would block the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, offering a rebuke to U.S. President Trump.

The bipartisan bill passed with a 53-45 vote, and is the first of 22 resolutions that are aimed at blocking the military sales to the Middle East.

The vote was the first in a series of three back-to-back votes, and would potentially stop billions of dollars in munitions sales to Riyadh.

However, the bill still has to pass through the House and it is likely that Trump will veto the bill, and the Senate does not seem to have enough of a majority to override a potential veto.

Democrats and Republicans have joined forces in their anger at the Trump administration over using its declaration of an emergency over Iran to bypass Congress and approve arms sales to the Kingdom.

The nearly two dozen joint resolutions of disapproval are meant to rebuke the Trump administration’s declaration. A group of Senators, both Democrat and Republican and led by Sen. Bob Menendez and Sen. Lindsey Graham, had initially filed 22 resolutions of disapproval, one for each of the arms sales the White House approved.

On Wednesday, the House also passed an appropriations bill that would expire a 2001 authorization for military force that some lawmakers feared Trump would use to justify going to war with Iran. (AA)