WASHINGTON, D.C. – AUGUST 06: The United States Capitol is seen on August 6, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
UPDATED 5:31 PM PT – Wednesday, December 8, 2021
A bipartisan effort in the Senate failed to block the continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
In a vote of 30-to-67, the proposal fell short of the simple majority needed to stop the $650 billion sale to the kingdom. The effort to block the sales was spearheaded by Utah’s Mike Lee (R), Kentucky’s Rand Paul (R) and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders (I).
The senators argued that Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be rewarded for its aggressions in Yemen and the attacks on its own people with more arms from the U.S.
“As the Saudi government continues to wage its devastating war in Yemen and repress its own people, we should not be rewarding them with more arms sales,” said Sanders.
Senate leadership from both parties disagreed with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying the body should be wary of turning their backs on longtime allies. Meanwhile, Democrats remained split on the vote, while Paul and Lee were the only members of the GOP to support the block.