By Michael Bowman |
WASHINGTON – Later this week, the U.S. Senate is expected to mount an effort to block an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as many American lawmakers continue to seethe over Riyadh’s human rights record, the war in Yemen and last year’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Trump administration sought to bypass congressional review of the weapons sale by tying it to a national emergency declaration to counter threats from Iran.
Passions over Saudi Arabia run high in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, says relations with the kingdom have deteriorated.
“The current relationship with Saudi Arabia is not working for America … I am never going to let this go until things change in Saudi Arabia.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat, says the kidnapping and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last October in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by Saudi special agents was a breaking point.
“What kind of ally kidnaps a resident of your country [Khashoggi] who was seeking our protection, brings him into a consulate, chops him up and makes him disappear? The nature of this alliance [with Saudi Arabia] has been exposed.”