(RightWing.org) – The Biden administration could be facing another defeat in the Senate after a leading Republican vowed to block a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia. The move has bipartisan support and could seriously embarrass Biden.
On November 4, the State Department notified Congress of the Biden administration’s agreement to sell $650 million worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite the Gulf state’s ongoing involvement in the civil war in Yemen. The administration expected the sale to face opposition from Democrats, but a Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is leading the charge to block it.
The Senate's busy December is about to get even busier: Sen. Rand Paul intends to force a vote within a week to block a U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia https://t.co/8JiF2BHSJE
— Congress Minutes (@politicongress) November 30, 2021
The State Department argues the weapons shipment, mostly AIM-120C air-to-air missiles, will be used to defend Saudi airspace (and US forces in the country) against Houthi rebel drone attacks, and not to support the Saudi-led coalition fighting the jihadist movement in Yemen. However, Paul says, “A message needs to be sent to Saudi Arabia that we don’t approve of their war with Yemen,” and he has plenty of backers.
Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mile Lee (R-UT) introduced Paul’s resolution to block the sale, and Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has introduced a companion bill in the House. If Biden’s foreign policy can put Paul and Omar on the same team to oppose it, the administration is in real trouble.
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