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US House to vote on Saudi arms deals backed by Trump

June 25, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Human rights campaigners protest against arms sale to Saudi Arabia [Campaign Against Arms Trade/Flickr]

The US House of Representatives will vote next month on billions of dollars worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia already rejected by the Senate despite a veto threat from President Donald Trump, reports Reuters.

Representative Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, told reporters on Tuesday that the chamber would vote on 22 resolutions of disapproval of the arms deals when it returns to Washington on July 9 after next week’s recess for the US Independence Day holiday.

Trump announced in May that he would go ahead with 22 arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, worth an estimated $8.1 billion, sidestepping the congressional review process by declaring an emergency over Iran.

Trump’s fellow Republicans control a majority in the Senate, but several joined with the Democrats to back the 22 resolutions – one for each of the military sales – on June 20.

READ: Republicans in US Congress push back on Trump weapons packages to Saudi Arabia, UAE

They are also expected to pass the House, where Democrats hold a majority of seats.

Although they did not garner enough support to overcome Trump’s promised veto, backers of the resolutions said they sent an important bipartisan message to Saudi Arabia and Trump, that US lawmakers will push back against Riyadh over human rights abuses, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and steep civilian casualties from the Saudi- and UAE-led air campaign in Yemen’s civil war.

US arms exports up 13 per cent over 2017 as Trump champions deals – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]