The US House voted Wednesday to undo President Donald Trump’s bid to sidestep Congress and complete several arms sales benefiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sending three disapproval resolutions to the Oval Office, where they are expected to be vetoed.
The Trump administration announced in May that it would invoke emergency authority to push through 22 deals worth more than $8 billion, sales that include missiles, munitions and surveillance aircraft. A bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate — but not a veto-proof majority — objected to the move, which would replenish part of the Saudi arsenal that lawmakers say has been used against civilians in Yemen’s long-running civil war.
Members of both parties also object to the idea of rewarding Saudi leaders at a time when most lawmakers want to punish them for the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
But only four Republicans — Reps. Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Alex Mooney (W.Va.), plus newly independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) — joined Democrats to pass the resolutions, which the Senate approved last month.
The Trump administration has said that the weapons sales are ‘necessary’ to counter an ‘increasing threat’ from Iran.
Many politicians view Trump’s claims of an emergency as exaggerated, pointing out that most of the weapons sales at issue could not be delivered for months, even years.