Va.'s Kaine opposes Saudi arms sale

Jun 14, 2017, 06:31
Va.'s Kaine opposes Saudi arms sale

The arms deal, which was negotiated in part by Trumps son-in-law Jared Kushner, was announced in the Saudi capital of Riyadh last month during the president's visit to the kingdom, his first foreign trip as president.

The bipartisan effort to block Trump's arms deal is lead by Sens.

In a statement Monday, Schumer expressed concerns that sending the Saudi's more than $500 million worth of precision-guided munitions will worsen the humanitarian crisis in the region.

Selling more than $100 billion worth of arms - including $500 million in precision-guided munitions - to Saudi Arabia while they continue to commit alleged war crimes is a disgusting and unsafe plan. We also thank the other Senators who voted for the Resolution, although we had hoped more of them would have come out publicly before the vote, which would have given more momentum for passing the Resolution and allowed us to better target our efforts.

"I can list 20 reasons why I'm very concerned about giving them weapons, but one of those things also coming up this week is we're unhappy with Iran for developing ballistic missiles. Saudi Arabia's support for these Wahhabi madrassas goes back decades, and is responsible for much of the radicalization of Muslim youth in the Middle East and North Africa", Schumer said.

But the resolution's supporters argued that they still had some clear success.

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"We need to stand up for our values and ensure that the United States no longer turns a blind eye to the indiscriminate killing of children, women, and men in Yemen", Franken said in a statement.

The stronger-than-expected opposition to the sale comes as the two-year-old war in Yemen exacerbates an already dire humanitarian situation in the country. Chris Murphy of CT and Al Franken of Minnesota to block the sale of $510 million of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. See her interview on Public Radio International's "The World": "Will U.S. stop arming Saudi attackers in Yemen?"

In a June 8 letter signed by 41 human rights groups, including Win Without War, Project on Middle East Democracy, and the Yemen Peace Project, activists have called upon legislators to reject the Trump's administration's proposed arms deal.

The resolution's Democratic co-sponsors, Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Al Franken of Minnesota and Jeff Merkley of OR, framed it as a condemnation of Saudi attacks on civilians. Instead, U.S. actions in Yemen, increased the popularity of the local Al-Qaeda affiliate and helped to destabilize the country. If you remember your Constitution, it says no president has that authority; only to repel imminent attack, but no president alone has the unilateral authority to take us to war.

Hours before the vote, Paul told a group of congressional interns and staff members that the measure was largely symbolic.

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