Trump vetoes bill to prevent arms sales to Saudi Arabia that even the GOP wanted


Not enough Republicans are expected to grow a spine to override the veto.

Trump is plowing ahead with his plan to sell military arms to the murderous Saudi Arabia regime, and it looks like Republicans at large are willing to let him.

Prioritizing money and oil over humanity, Trump vetoed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would have blocked a multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia. 

The Trump administration announced the $8.1 billion arms sale in May, using a provision in the Arms Export Control Act that allows a president to approve arms sales for emergency reasons and without congressional approval. The weapons that could be sold include missiles, mortar rounds, drones, and fighter jet parts. 

Trump claimed in his veto message that the arms are required to ward off Iranian activities, but it seems like the “emergency” is much more about money and oil.

Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been unusually close. He has refused to point the finger at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and even some Republicans have had to point out his ignorance. 

Trump has praised Saudi Arabia for being "very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels." The administration has also approved sending nuclear technology and expertise to Saudi Arabia several times since the journalist’s brutal murder. 

Trump’s growing closeness to the Saudi regime, bypassing of congressional authority, and lack of care over Khashoggi’s death were major motivators behind the resolutions. 

Even Trump loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has pushed back strongly against the sales, and said "there's no amount of oil coming out of Saudi Arabia" that could get him to back off, Newsweek reported

But talk is one thing and action is another.

However, the resolutions were passed in the Senate by only a 53-45 vote, meaning there likely won’t be enough Republican votes in the chamber to override Trump's veto.

Similarly, in February, Congress voted to end military assistance for the Saudi-supported war in Yemen, which was also met with a Trump veto, and not enough Republican supporters to override it. 

It looks like pushback by only a few Republicans isn’t enough to rein in Trump’s fondness of Saudi Arabia.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.