Trump vetoes Saudi weapons sale ban
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/25/19, 11:54 am
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump vetoed three bills on Wednesday that would have blocked the administration from selling billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In May, the Trump administration announced its intent to invoke emergency powers to sell about $8 billion in arms to the two countries, bypassing congressional review. A bipartisan group of lawmakers passed the bills blocking the sale last month to protest U.S. involvement with the Saudi coalition in Yemen’s civil war, as well as push back on the administration circumventing Congress.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the weapons were needed to help curb threats from Iran in the region. Trump said Wednesday that blocking the sale would “weaken America’s global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., called the veto a slap in the face to Congress that “sends a grim message that America’s foreign policy is no longer rooted in our core values, namely, a respect for human rights.” Lawmakers likely won’t have enough votes to override the president’s veto in either the House or the Senate.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.