A joint resolution of disproval to block the Biden administration's first major arms sale of $650 million to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proposed by Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Bernie Sanders on Thursday.
I would whole heartedly expect Republicans Paul and Lee to propose such a bill. However, far-left Sanders threw me for a loop. They are quite the band of unlikely allies.
The package which was approved by the State Department would include 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL) along with containers and support equipment, spare parts, U.S. government and contractor engineering and technical support.
In a statement Paul said, "this sale that could accelerate an arms race in the Middle East and jeopardize the security of our military technologies."
"As the Saudi government continues to wage its devastating war in Yemen and repress its own people, we should not be rewarding them with more arms sales," Sanders added in the joint statement.
The Biden administration has said it adopted a policy of selling only defensive weapons to the Gulf ally.
When the State Department approved the sale a spokesman said the sale "is fully consistent with the administration's pledge to lead with diplomacy to end the conflict in Yemen." The air-to-air missiles ensure "Saudi Arabia has the means to defend itself from Iranian-backed Houthi air attacks," he said.
State Department approval of a sale is not necessarily the indication of a signed contract.
At least this has bipartisan opposition and therefore likely to garner more votes to stop the sale.
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