US Senate fails to overturn Trump vetoes on Saudi arms sales

Photo: EPA President Donald Trump holds up a chart of arm sales as he meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office, 18 October 2018.

The US Senate has failed to override a series of vetoes issued by President Donald Trump, allowing the administration to move forward with plans to sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, news wires reported.

Trump's decision to sell the weapons in a way that would have bypassed congressional review infuriated lawmakers from both parties. In a bipartisan pushback, Democrats and Republicans banded together to pass resolutions blocking the $8.1bn weapons sales to the US allies in the Persian Gulf. A vote on Monday to override Trump's vetoes failed, 45-40. A two-thirds vote was needed.

The White House argued that stopping the sales would send a signal that the US doesn't stand by its partners and allies, particularly at a time when threats from hostile countries such as Iran are increasing. Tensions have mounted since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the international nuclear treaty with Iran. Trump reimposed sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

The Senate votes came after the House Oversight Committee released a report criticizing the Trump administration over its apparent willingness to let private parties with close ties to the president wield outsized influence over US policy toward Saudi Arabia.


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