Senate Rejects Sanders’s Resolution to Block $650M Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia

The Senate voted against Tuesday’s bipartisan resolution to block a $650 Million weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. It rejected a bid from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and progressive and Republican legislators to stop the sale.

The resolution was voted down 67 to 30. Most Republicans voted against this resolution, with the exception of Senators Rand Paul (Kentucky), Mike Lee (Utah), and Sanders (Senators). Sen. Elizabeth Warren(Massachusetts), and others in the Democratic caucus, to introduce the measure. Seven Democrats voted against the measure along with Republicans.

The resolution’s supporters claim that the weapons sale will allow Saudi Arabia to advance its brutal blockade against Yemen, which is at center of one of the most contentious conflicts in the region. world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crisesThe war between Houthi rebels, the U.S.-backed Saudi alliance and their war on Yemen has resulted in a number of deaths. Although aid groups are attempting to assist the roughly 20.7 million Yemenis — nearly 80 percent of the country’s population — who urgently need humanitarian assistance, the Saudi aerial blockade of the Sanaa airportpreventing aid from reaching citizens. Meanwhile, Yemen’s economy is on the verge of collapse.

Human rights groups and Yemeni-led advocacy organisations have condemned the sale of weapons and have recently made public their condemnation. sent a letter to CongressWe are urging legislators to pass the resolution. Hassan El-Tayyab is the director of Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Truthout that approving the arms sale “sends a message of impunity” to Saudi Arabia and removes key leverage that the U.S. could use to end the war.

El-Tayyab claimed that if Saudi Arabia ended its blockade at Sanaa’s airport, Houthi force would have little motivation. continue cross-border attacks. “For the U.S. to continue the support of Saudi Arabia for their defensive concerns, while not fully embracing the diplomacy needed to lift the blockade and end the aerial bombardment, we are essentially not addressing the root cause of the problem,” El-Tayyab said, adding that so-called “defensive” equipment in the sale could also be used to enforce the blockade.

In a joint statement The Congressional Progressive Caucus released Rep. Ilhan Omar (Washington), and Rep. Pramila Jamila Jayapal (Washington), stating that the blockade almost completely stopped medical supplies from entering war-torn Yemen. The blockade has also “amounted to a death sentence” for Yemenis seeking care abroad, they said.

“The world’s largest humanitarian crisis is escalating. Last month, Saudi Arabia tightened its blockade on Yemen, permitting just 3 percent of the fuel the country needs into Yemen’s major port,” the lawmakers wrote. “Saudi warplanes enforce a blockade on Yemen’s airspace, threatening to shoot down commercial and humanitarian flights.”

The White House published an announcement ahead of the vote a Statement of Administration Policy — a more forceful version of a regular statement — saying that the administration “strongly opposes” the resolution. This is against Promises Biden made during the presidential campaignWhen he made the vow, to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah”as a response to the murder Washington PostJamal Khashoggi was a journalist who was murdered by a group of Saudi agents in 2018.

“I would end the subsidies that we have, end the sale of material to the Saudis, who are going in and they’re murdering children and they’re murdering innocent people, and so they have to be held accountable,” Biden said at the time.

In the statement, the White House claimed that the arms sale will only go toward defensive actions for Saudi Arabia, therefore, it won’t contradict Biden’s previous pledge to help end the war. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), a longtime critic of Saudi Arabia’s role in the war, also voted againstThe White House is also blocking the sale of the property, citing the same reasons.

The arms sale split the Democratic caucus with only a few lawmakers voting for Biden and others voting against the resolution.

“The United States must do everything in our power to bring this brutal and horrific war to an end,” Sanders saidBefore Tuesday’s vote, the Senate floor was taken into consideration. “Exporting more missiles to Saudi Arabia does nothing but further this conflict and pour more gasoline on an already raging fire.”

“Why in the world would the United States reward such a regime which has caused such pain in Yemen with more weapons?” Sanders asked. “My friends, the answer is we should not.”

Paul also condemned the sale prior to the vote. “We could stop this war if we really had the will to do it,” Paul said. “All of America should be appalled at the humanitarian disaster caused by the Saudi blockade of Yemen.” When the resolution was introduced, Paul said the sale, if allowed to advance, would send a message to Saudi Arabia that their “reprehensible behavior” should be rewarded.

The U.S. has providedThe Saudi-led Coalition with billions in weapons, training, and military support plays an integral role in the destruction of YemenFor nearly seven years. Donald Trump, in particular, was determined to support Saudi Arabia. veto several bipartisan measuresDuring his tenure, he aimed to end weapons sales to the nation. In 2018, Sanders and his allied Republicans led Senate in passing a Historical war powers resolutionto end the U.S. participation in the war. This was not authorized by Congress. The GOP-controlled House defeated the resolution.

Despite the fact that $650 million has been sold, the sale will continue. wishes of the American publicThe majority of them disapprove of the sale. A Data for Progress poll revealed that 64% of likely voters opposed the sale, with opposition almost equally spread across political parties.