Senate tells Trump he can't sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia


The Senate rebuked Trump by blocking a billion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia, a country Trump remains friendly with despite the regime's brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump got a bipartisan smackdown from the Senate on Thursday, when the upper chamber voted to block an arms sale to Saudi Arabia worth $8.1 billion.

The vote was 53 to 45, with a handful of Republican senators joining Democrats to block the sale to the Middle Eastern nation, whose crown prince is responsible for ordering the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The scuttling of the deal was in retaliation for the Trump administration's decision to leave Congress in the dark about their national security decisions, and also as punishment for Trump sticking by the Saudis despite Khashoggi's murder.

It's the second such rebuke the Senate has sent to Trump over his foreign policy this year.

Back in February, both the House and the Senate voted to end the United States' military assistance for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen. Trump ultimately vetoed the legislation to end the support for the war, and there was not enough GOP support to override it.

The Trump administration announced the $8.1 billion arms sale last month, a sale they made by invoking a provision in the Arms Export Control Act that allows for a presidential administration to approve an arms sale without the go-ahead from Congress in the event of an emergency.

Democrats and the few Republicans who voted to block the sale believe Trump is yet again abusing his emergency authorities — like he did with the fake emergency declaration he made to shift funding around for his pointless border wall.

"This vote is a vote for the powers of this institution to be able to continue to have a say on one of the most critical elements of U.S. foreign policy and national security," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the lead sponsor of the legislation blocking the sale, said Thursday, according to the New York Times. "To not let that be undermined by some false emergency and to preserve that institutional right, regardless of who sits in the White House."

Of course, Trump has again threatened to veto the blocking of this arms sale.

And given that the vast majority of Republicans back Trump no matter what Trump does or how awful his policies are, it's unlikely a veto would be overturned.

However, the fact that Trump was again rebuked for his foreign policy is yet another embarrassing day for his presidency.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.