Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) intends to force a vote in the Senate on the record US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a deal which the Trump Administration has estimated will be worth some $350 billion over the decade.Paul was expected to introduce the bill on Wednesday.
The Arms Export Control Act gives senators 10 days to bring up opposition to arms sales, and Paul will have to act particularly fast this time because the Senate is leaving Friday for the Memorial Day holiday, during which they take an entire week off.
Sen. Paul argued that increasing US armament of the Saudis would mean deeper US involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen. That of course is something many in the Trump Administration want at any rate, so for them that is seen as a bonus, if anything.
Sen. Paul has been supported in the past in trying to rein in Saudi arms sales by some Democrats, particularly Sen. Chris Murphy (D – CT). It is unclear at this point if he has much support, though the arms industry’s eagerness to secure this lucrative deal is likely to have them lobbying against his efforts.