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Tipsheet

Senators Agree To Block This Deal Trump Made

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Thursday to block President Donald Trump's arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The votes will take place on the 22 joint resolutions to block the sale. There will be two standalone votes on the resolutions to block the sales. The third vote would condense the remaining 20 resolutions of disapproval into one vote, The Hill reported.

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The resolutions are expected to pass the Senate, with all 47 Democrats and a handful of Republicans joining the vote to disapprove of the sale. It's expected to also pass the House of Representatives, although it appears that neither chamber would have the votes to override a veto, should President Trump issue one.

"I think the votes going to be significant — well over 50 but possibly over 60 and even with a potential of getting a veto-proof," Sen. Rand Paul said.

The resolutions were initially brought about by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Todd Young (R-IN.) and Jack Reed (D-RI). The group of Congressmen had made the declaration after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared an emergency on May 24 to waive the congressional review process for 22 separate arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for a total of $8.1 billion. The administration cited Iran as the cause for concern.

According to the Senators, the Trump administration used its authority under the Arms Export Control Act to waive Congressional approval. The way the administration went about this "is unprecedented and is at odds with longstanding practice and cooperation between the Congress and the executive branch that results in the approval of billions of dollars of arms sales annually," the group said in a statement.

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Menendez also touted an agreement made with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch (R-ID) to take up to take up Menendez’s bipartisan Saudi Arabia False Emergencies (SAFE) act, "which will prospectively eliminate the President’s ability to act in this irresponsible and legally dubious manner going forward, as well as a committee markup on Yemen and Saudi Arabia in which Menendez’ bipartisan Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act will receive a vote."

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