Senators launch bipartisan bid to block Saudi arms sales

Senators launch bipartisan bid to block Saudi arms sales
Col. Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Huthi forces, points to a screen showing what he said was evidence of Iranian intervention and support to the Huthi in Yemen during a news conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats are banding together to try and stop the Trump administration’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and others are introducing 22 Senate resolutions to halt the sales. The move threatens to tangle up the Senate in a series of votes this summer.

It’s unclear whether the resolutions will pass, but the support of Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ran Paul underscores the breadth of bipartisan opposition to the administration’s policy.

Trump invoked emergency powers to sell arms to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review. The senators say the use of the power was unprecedented and can be challenged.

Lawmakers have grown increasingly critical of U.S.-Saudi ties since the killing of U.S.-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).