REPS. LIEU AND YOHO CALL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE TO REVIEW ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA

May 25, 2017
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WashingtonToday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R  I  Florida) sent a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce calling for a full committee hearing to review the Trump Administration’s proposed sale of precision-guided munition kits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The letter notes that the Trump Administration has yet to provide information related to the Royal Saudi Air Force’s capabilities which was requested by 31 Members of Congress, including members of the Committee, in a letter on April 6, 2017. The Obama Administration had suspended the sale in question in December 2016 following repeated airstrikes on civilian targets.  

EXCERPTS FROM THE LETTER:

“As you know, the Obama Administration made the decision in December 2016 to halt a planned sale of PGMs due to concerns over widespread civilian casualties in Yemen and significant deficiencies in RSAF’s targeting capabilities…. In March 2017, the Department of State reversed this policy without providing any justification for what had changed in its assessment.”

“It is in our national security interest – as well as that of our Saudi partners – to ensure that the RSAF has the ability to avoid civilian casualties before the U.S. sells them any additional air-to-ground munitions.”

“We therefore urge the Committee to call a hearing with the Administration, in a closed session if necessary, to obtain critical information pertinent to this PGM sale prior to the 30-day statutory window closing on June 20.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Today, Congressman Lieu also introduced a joint resolution to place conditions on all air-to-ground munitions sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three conditions relate to avoiding civilian casualties, facilitating humanitarian aid, and targeting U.S.-designated terrorist organizations such as AQAP and ISIS.

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE

###