Trump Administration Mulls Ending Congressional Review of Arms Sales

Trump frustrated Congress keeps holding up arms sales

The Trump Administration is looking at options, according to officials, to find a way to end a decades-old practice of notifying Congress about major US arms sales to foreign powers, with an eye toward ending the Congressional oversight and review of such sales.

This appears to be driven by the number of times that Congress has tried to hold up sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both over concern about war crimes in Yemen and about where those arms ultimately end up, in violation of US conditions for the sales.

Even though Congress has a right to put holds on these sales, its not clear they have been able to do much anyhow, with President Trump claiming a state of national emergency to circumvent restrictions and keep selling arms to the Saudis.

Bogus claims of an emergency are somewhat embarrassing, it seems, or at least inconvenient enough that the administration figures that the path of least resistance would be to just stop informing Congress about the sales in the first place, precluding any judgment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of