House Members Seek To Block Proposed Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

News Release from office of Rep. Justin Amash

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of six representatives, led by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), today introduced a joint resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 102, to block proposed sales of precision-guided munitions and other offensive weapons to the Government of Saudi Arabia. The joint resolution is cosponsored by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

Congress was notified of the proposed sales, which are part of a larger arms deal with Saudi Arabia reportedly worth $110 billion, on May 19.

“Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records and has supported many of the extremists terrorizing the people of the Middle East and the world,” said Amash. “These arms sales extend a reckless policy from the Obama administration and prior administrations, and they come at a time when the Saudi government is escalating a gruesome war in Yemen.”

“President Trump’s proposed $110-billion weapons sale sends the wrong message to Saudi Arabia,” said Pocan. “In addition to regularly dropping U.S. bombs on Yemeni civilians, Saudi Arabia appears to have every intention of using the U.S. weapons from this sale to enforce a blockade on Yemen that prevents food and medicine from reaching millions of people on the brink of starvation.”

“For months, my colleagues and I have been demanding answers to the most basic questions on the U.S. role in the disastrous war in Yemen and have been met with deafening silence from the White House,” Pocan continued. “As we introduce a resolution of disapproval against this unprecedented weapons sale, we are concerned about U.S. complicity in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis now consuming Yemen. Our bipartisan group of lawmakers will be urging our colleagues to take seriously our constitutional duty to vigorously debate the merits of arming the Saudis even further.”

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) have introduced identical legislation in the Senate. Under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, a senator can force a vote on an arms sale. Although no such procedure exists in the House, the joint resolution of disapproval would be treated as “highly privileged” if reported from committee.

Joint Resolution (.pdf)

Corie Whalen
(202) 225-3831

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