Senate Fails to Override Trump’s Vetoes on Saudi Arms Sales

Vetoes cover three bills which would've blocked 'emergency' sales

Bipartisan bills that blocked US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which were vetoed by President Trump earlier this month, survived another vote in the US Senate on Monday, where they failed to get enough votes to override the vetoes. The vote was 45-40.

These arms sales were authorized on an “emergency” basis to bypass Congress, though since they weren’t being rushed to the purchasers, Congress still had ample time to debate and vote against the sales.

Sen. Bob Menendez, one of the advocates of an override, noted that the administration had offered no justification for the use of an “emergency” declaration, noting officials changed their story several times in the lead-up to the vote, and that Trump’s veto statement itself didn’t even mention this fact.

It was generally accepted that the bills lacked the two-thirds majority needed to survive a veto, which is why a lot of similar language opposing US military support for the Saudis was included in House version of the 2020 NDAA, as it is widely believed this would be more difficult for the president to try to veto around.

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.