Win Without War
WSHINGTON, DC (November 27, 2020) — A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation designed to get a vote in the Senate to REJECT Trump’s reprehensible attempt to push through a $23 BILLION weapons sale to his authoritarian friends in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on his way out of the White House.
This legislation provides a critical opportunity for us to block all or part of this sale, and we’ve got no time to waste — a vote on these resolutions could come as soon as NEXT WEEK. We’ve got to keep the pressure on Congress if we’re going to have any chance to STOP this sale.
The UAE cannot be allowed to operate with impunity for its complicity and crimes in the devastating war in Yemen or ongoing human rights abuses in Libya and across the Horn of Africa.
Bob Menendez, Chirs Murphy, and Rand Paul introduced this legislation to show that Congress is yet again ready to push back against an administration bent on selling arms to benefit foreign dictators and corrupt weapons manufacturers over people’s peace and security needs.
This legislation will be essential not only to stop Trump in his tracks — it will also send a clear signal to President-elect Biden that it’s no longer acceptable to continue business as usual with the UAE
And it’s THE opening we’ve been waiting for since Trump used the formal notification process to announce the sales just a few short weeks ago. The resolutions will be considered “privileged” — meaning senators can force a vote even without Mitch McConnell’s support.
Any vote on this legislation MUST reflect the BIPARTISAN majority in Congress that already exists on this issue — we know they’re there because we’ve been here before.
Congress has heard from 24,281 Win Without War activists on this arms sale in the past two weeks alone. This outpouring of action is AMAZING — and we can’t thank you enough for joining us in this fight.
But we’re just getting started. We need your sustained energy if we’re going to draw out the clock and ultimately stop this sale. Getting LOUD in support of this legislation is the first step.
Senate Seeks to Stop Trump’s $23 Billion in Arms Sales to UAE
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Three US senators said on Wednesday they would introduce legislation seeking to halt the Trump administration’s effort to sell more than $23 billion of drones and other weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates, setting up a showdown with the president just weeks before he is due to leave office.
Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Chris Murphy and Republican Senator Rand Paul will introduce four separate resolutions of disapproval of President Donald Trump’s plan to sell more than $23 billion worth of Reaper drones, F-35 fighter aircraft and air-to-air missiles and other munitions to the UAE.
The huge sale could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, and members of Congress have chafed at the administration’s attempt to rush it through, having sent a formal notice to Congress only last week.
Many lawmakers also worry about whether the UAE would use the weapons in attacks that would harm civilians in Yemen, whose civil war is considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
When the deal was announced, Amnesty International warned that the weapons would be used for “attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians.”
SALES’ FATE UNCERTAIN
While the resolutions bring attention to lawmakers’ questions about the massive sales, and could delay them, they are unlikely to stop them.
US law covering major arms deals lets senators force votes on resolutions of disapproval. However, to go into effect the resolutions must pass the Republican-led Senate, which rarely breaks from Trump. They also must pass the Democratic-led House of Representatives and survive Trump vetoes. But incoming President Joe Biden could ultimately stop them for reasons of national security, making a prediction on the final outcome difficult.
The senators said the Trump administration, seeking to rush the sale as it brokered a peace deal between the UAE and Israel, circumvented the normal review process. They said State and the Pentagon failed to respond to their inquiries.
Weaponry involved includes the world’s most advanced fighter jet, more than 14,000 bombs and munitions and the second-largest sale of US drones to a single country.
The Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees have the right to review and attempt to block weapons sales.
Past measures to block arms sales over concerns about Yemeni casualties passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support, but failed to get enough Republican backing to override Trump’s vetoes.
Lawmakers have also expressed concern about whether the UAE sales would violate a longstanding agreement with Israel that any US weapons sold in the Middle East would not impair its “quantitative military edge” over neighboring states.
Menendez is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in line to become chairman next year if Democrats take control of the Senate in Georgia runoff elections in January. Paul and Murphy are also members of the committee.
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