Lawmakers move to halt Trump's Saudi arms sales after contentious hearing

House lawmakers to grill State Department over Trump’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE

House lawmakers to grill State Department over Trump’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE

"Here's the reality: there is no emergency", Engel said.

"There is no emergency". Eliot L. Engel of NY, the Democratic chair of the House committee, said Wednesday. We don't rule this country by fiat ... "Congress is a coequal branch of government". "Anything that's what's called "off the shelf" then it's already moving" to customers, Cooper said. While arms sales usually go through a 30-day congressional review period, the provision allows for this process to be skipped in the case of an emergency.

"Which came first, the arms sales, or the threat?"

But Mr McConnell pledged to oppose efforts to block Mr Trump's move, "voting against the resolution of disapproval and for sustaining the veto when it comes to that". Otherwise, the sale gets the green light.

Last month, Trump invoked a rarely used provision of US arms control laws to circumvent Congress and authorize weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in March the administration was still working "all across the government" to identify those responsible. I believe that trusting them to protect our needs and protect us against terroristic threats is like trusting a thief to protect your shop.

"This is gaslighting", said Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. "I don't appreciate the effort to be clever and refuse to answer the question".

In the absence of any specific discussion of alleged new Iranian "threats" and the urgency they supposedly imparted to these arms sales, Cooper's argument relied heavily on the idea that the emergency declaration was necessary to speed up the arms sales and prevent the Saudis and Emiratis-two of the world's biggest arms buyers-from shopping elsewhere for their weapons.

"The justification for this appalling action by the administration is a bogus emergency", he added.

Cooper responded that USA alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE don't "preclude us from holding partners accountable, not just on human rights, but also on protecting our interests". But a "number of them" of the sales are for offensive weapons for the Saudis to conduct their bombing campaign in Yemen, Clarke said. The sale contains precision-guided munitions, different bombs and ammunition, and plane maintenance help.

"Congress wants to change how we do business with the Kingdom".

That also sparked backlash: "They continue year after year in Yemen to hit [civilian] targets that we have specifically asked them not to hit, and our response to that is to blow past congressional objections to give them these weapons so that they can trust us".

Menendez, Graham and others are expected to ask for a vote on 22 disapproval resolutions aimed at blocking the sales, and a bipartisan majority of senators is expected to support that effort, the news outlet reported. The other Republicans who are cosponsoring the resolutions are Sens. "Now, this arms transfer seeks to circumvent the constitutional authority of Congress by using a national security emergency exemption-and it's yet another signal that the administration neither recognizes the extent of Saudi Arabia's human rights offenses against civilians nor the constitutional role of Congress in arms sales", said Spanberger.

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