Senators Chris Murphy, Rand Paul, and Al Franken are moving to block a small portion of the reported $110 billion arms deal recently agreed upon with Saudi Arabia. Their disapproval measure, which focuses on the sale of $500 million worth of offensive weapons, is expected to fail, as did a similar move, in September.
“I have not been able to get satisfactory explanations from our administration in how they are monitoring the human rights issues in regards to the Saudis as well as their long term plans in arming the Middle East,” said Senator Ben Cardin, speaking with Jewish Insider.
Senator Rand Paul questioned the wisdom of involving the United States in the civil war between the Yemeni government, supported by the Saudis, and the rebel Houthis, supported by Iran. “I think, if you were to ask the general public, should we be at war in Yemen or supporting war in Yemen, I think most people would say, ‘where?’,” Paul said to Politico. “I think there should be a valid debate on it.”
Several prominent Senate Democrats — Senators Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Tim Kaine, among others — have yet to commit support to the measure.
During President Obama’s second term, Feinstein voted to approve large parts of the sale, and Kaine missed the vote.