Senators Propose Visa Restrictions for Saudi Royals

Bipartisan bill aims to punish Saudis without risking Trump veto

A bipartisan Senate bill, S.2066, is looking to continue the efforts to punish Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, without provoking a veto from President Trump. The bill includes some limits on US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

But the more novel aspect of the bill is a travel restriction pushed by Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), is that it would deny visas to all members of the Saudi royal family until the kingdom makes major improvements on human rights.

While past legislation calling for improvements in human rights just ask for the administration to sign off arbitrarily, this legislation is said to make some very specific demands, including the release of dozens of dissidents.

While Trump has generally vetoed everything remotely anti-Saudi, reports indicate that the White House has offered tacit support to this bill as a compromise on the matter, which would allow them to show some toughness toward the Saudis without threatening the bulk of the arms sales.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of