Will Senate Try to Override Trump Veto of Gulf Arms Restrictions?
The US Senate is preparing to vote in an effort to override three resolutions vetoed by President Donald Trump that aimed to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in particular, as well as to the United Arab Emirates. However, the vote, slated to be held before Congress adjourns for recess on August 2, is not expected to garner the necessary two-thirds majority required, given that only a few Republicans – who hold 53 seats in the 100-member Senate – are in favor of halting nearly two dozen arms deals worth an estimated $8 billion. Supporters of the resolutions accuse President Trump of turning a blind eye toward alleged Saudi war crimes throughout the civil war in Yemen, and for not coming down hard enough on Riyadh in the wake of last year’s killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate. In his effort to maintain close bilateral relations with the House of Saud – a key ally in the White House’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran – some legislators believe the US leader has ignored congressional review processes, exploiting his executive powers by declaring an “emergency” over tensions with the Islamic Republic in order to justify his moves.