Senators to force vote on $1.15B Saudi arms sale
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A group of senators is planning to force a vote this month to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges McConnell discounts quick dismissal of Trump impeachment articles: 'We'll have to have a trial' GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower MORE (R-Ky.), Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE (D-Minn.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeFed chief urges Congress to expand US workforce while economy still strong On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments MORE (R-Utah) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval on Thursday that, if passed, would undercut a planned sale of tanks and related equipment. 


Paul said in a statement that selling the military equipment to Saudi Arabia "is a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region." 

Senators are using a little-known loophole in the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) to bring the resolution to the floor.

Under the AECA, senators have to give a Senate committee 10 calendar days to take up the resolution before they can bring it back to the Senate floor. Under that timeline, the earliest the senators could force a vote is Sept. 19. 

The State Department approved the sale last month. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis, Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen, but lawmakers are concerned the equipment will be used in missions that kill civilians and worsen the country's humanitarian crisis. 

Murphy added that the war in Yemen "has become a disaster that is making our country less safe every day." 

“Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], are getting stronger. Until the Saudis conduct changes, the U.S. should put a pause on further arms sales," he said. 

Thursday's resolution comes after 64 House lawmakers sent a resolution to President Obama last month asking that he delay the sale. Murphy and Paul also introduced an amendment to an annual defense policy bill to bolster congressional oversight of military sales to Saudi Arabia.

Also this week, the House is set to vote on another controversial measure involving Saudi Arabia. It would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the country's leaders.