REP LIEU URGES PASSAGE OF HIS AMENDMENT BLOCKING SAUDI, UAE WEAPON SALES
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) spoke on the floor in support of his Defense appropriations amendment to stop the Trump Administration from selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without Congressional approval. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-IN) spoke in support of the amendment.
Upon introduction, Rep. Lieu said:
- On May 24, the Trump administration notified Congress that it was declaring an emergency to bypass congressional review of 22 arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- I am offering this amendment because there is no emergency, just a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians with U.S.-made weapons and a Congress that is tired of being complicit.
- That is why we voted last month to pass bipartisan, bicameral resolutions to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
- But despite that clear signal from Congress, the Administration decided to use an emergency power to go around us and push through an unpopular arms package that will likely be used in that conflict.
- That package includes an unprecedented proposal to move production of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia.
- Simply put, this is an egregious abuse of the emergency authority we gave the Executive and a direct affront to our institution.
- To add insult to injury, the arms in question aren’t even available to be exported. As Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs Clarke Cooper testified last week, most of these weapons systems will not be ready for months.
- Our arms sale process was designed to include congressional review specifically to ensure that each case served U.S. interests.
- If the administration believes that these sales can stand on the merits, they should make their case to Congress.
- Until they do, we must use the power of the purse and every other avenue to block them.
- I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and I reserve the balance of my time.