On Friday, House Democrats introduced legislation opposing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia recently moved forward by the Trump administration.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) introduced a resolution that opposes the sale of Boeing-made precision-guided bombs worth an estimated $290 million. The Trump administration notified Congress of the sale on December 29th, giving lawmakers 30-days to block the deal.
The $290 million sale came after the Trump administration notified Congress on December 23rd that it was moving forward with the sale of $750 million in Raytheon-made precision-guided missiles to the Saudis. Rep. Meeks also introduced a bill opposing this deal.
Saudi arms sales have been a point of contention with Congress and the Trump administration. In 2019, the administration bypassed Congress by declaring an “emergency” to push through an $8 billion weapons deal to the Saudis.
“There is no justification for the Trump administration’s decision to rush through the sale of thousands of bombs to Saudi Arabia—especially after last year’s sham ’emergency sale’ of 60,000 munitions,” Rep. Meeks said in a statement on his resolutions.
The opposition to Saudi arms sales stems from the fact that the US-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen regularly bombs civilian infrastructure. “Yemen has already been described by the UN as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and that crisis is worsened when weapons sold by the United States are being used recklessly, costing the lives of civilians,” Meeks said.
The incoming Biden administration is expected to change policy towards the Saudis and the war in Yemen, something Meeks addressed in his statement. “I strongly support the incoming Biden administration’s pledge to conduct a thorough policy review,” he said.
Meeks’ resolutions were co-sponsored by Reps. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and James McGovern (D-MA).