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Senate Launches Last-Ditch Effort to Halt Arms Sale to UAE

With President Donald Trump’s days in the Oval Office numbered, a bipartisan group of senators aims to undo one of the administration’s latest and most consequential deals by blocking the recently announced massive arms sale to the United Arab Emirates. Sens. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., head the group of lawmakers who on Wednesday introduced four separate bills that would disapprove of the multibillion-dollar sale of F-35 stealth multirole combat aircraft and other munitions to Abu Dhabi. While the White House has insisted that the long-standing policy of maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge will be preserved, some in Congress have voiced their concern that the mammoth, last-minute deal would escalate regional tensions while boxing in a new administration. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been roundly criticized for secretly vowing to President Trump in August, without notifying defense or military officials, that he would not call on Congress to oppose the deal, in return for the UAE’s normalizing ties with Jerusalem.