FAST FIVE: Trump Bypasses Congress To Approve $8 Billion In Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia, UAE
Not long after he reportedly agreed to send another 1,500-2,000 troops to the Middle East in yet another show of strength to combat an increasingly belligerent Iran, President Trump steamrolled Congress on Friday to approve $8 billion in arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and expedite delivery, WSJ reports.
WSJ's sources said the $8 billion figure encapsulates a package of 22 separate deals.
Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the decision “another slap in Congress's face.” “Congress wrote the law so that weapon sales would reflect broad consensus on foreign policy, consistent with our values, and the notion that there's an emergency that justified upending our checks and balances is false, plain and simple,” he said.
Support has been growing in Congress – among both Democrats and Republicans – to oppose more arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the kingdom's involvement in the proxy war in Yemen.
But given its longstanding rivalry with Iran, Saudi Arabia remains an important ally in that fight.