Trump wins veto fight with Senate to allow arms sales to Saudis

Saudi Arabia
Protestors demonstrate at the entrance of Saudi Arabia consulate over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey. He was reportedly killed by agents of the Saudi government on Oct. 2, 2018.


WASHINGTON – The Senate lost a bid to override President Donald Trump’s veto and block arms sales to Saudi Arabia to punish the kingdom for the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The votes Monday demonstrate the limits of Congress’ ability to act as a check on the president’s policies, even on foreign policy issues where some Republicans oppose the president’s position.

Only a handful of GOP senators joined Democrats in voting to override the vetoes. None of the three resolutions got more than 46 votes — far short of the two-thirds majority needed. 

Emergency declaration

The three resolutions were intended to halt what House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called “the most controversial and significant sales contemplated,” including precision-guided munitions for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Lawmakers are increasingly questioning the war in Yemen that has resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. 

Congress had passed the measures with support from both parties after Trump used an emergency declaration to allow $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries over congressional objections. 

The president vetoed the measures on July 24.


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