Senate Dems Say Trump May Push Through Saudi Arms Deal

Administration eyes loophole in Arms Control Act

Several Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are warning that they believe that the Trump Administration is about to push through arms sales to Saudi Arabia, while circumventing likely Congressional opposition.

The senators say they are hearing reports that within the next week, Trump will be trying to use a seldom-used loophole in the Arms Control Act that would allow him to push through shipments of arms the Saudis are using in Yemen.

The Arms Control Act allows this only in the case of an “emergency,” and the loophole is that the president can just certify an emergency whenever, and Congress can’t actually stop him, even though there plainly is no emergency.

This isn’t just about getting the Saudis to keep buying US arms. President Trump is also in the process of raising an estimated $68 billion for the Israel peace deal proposal, and he’s hoping Saudi Arabia will pony up a good portion of that. It’s not clear that’s the Saudis’ intention, but Trump may be using arms sales as leverage to keep getting more money out of the kingdom.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.