Bipartisan Attempt to Block Biden’s Saudi Arms Sale Rejected by Senate

The US Senate rejected on Tuesday night the bipartisan effort to block President Biden’s $650 billion Saudi arms sale voting 30-67 against the resolution from Senators Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee that fall short of the simple majority needed to overcome the procedural hurdle.

The Saudi arms sale was previously blocked by the Senate under then-President Trump but they failed to override his veto.

Sen.Paul pointed ahead of the vote that the aim of their resolution was to block the sale, which includes 280 Raytheon Technologies’ air-to-air missiles, due to Saudi Arabia’s significant role in Yemen’s civil war, including the air and naval blockade of the country.

Although President Biden pledged to change Trump’s policy of supporting Saudi’s war in Yemen, it’s apparent that the policy has not changed at all, putting Democrats like Sen. Sanders in an “uncomfortable and unusual position” of agreeing with Republicans like Paul.

Sanders stressed that it’s long past time they took a very hard look at the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, underscoring the US should demand that Saudis end the devastating war in Yemen.

Another Democrat, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, opposed the sale noting that it’s important to show their security partners know that they’ll always prioritize security arrangements that protect civilians.

Yet, the vote split Democrats and 28 voting in favor of the resolution, unlike Republicans that had all senators voting against the resolution with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell arguing they should be wary of turning their backs on long-time partners of the US.

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