Paul plans to force vote on $110B Saudi defense deal

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul intends to force a vote on a $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, according to an aide to the Kentucky Republican.

Paul is expected to introduce a measure to disapprove of the sale later on Wednesday, the aide said, over concerns that the deal may pull the U.S. into Yemen’s civil war.  

The move will allow Paul to force a vote in early June. Under the Arms Export Control Act, he can bring the measure up on the Senate floor after 10 calendar days, but the Senate is leaving town on Friday for a week-long Memorial Day break.

The Senate in September overwhelmingly rejected a similar move from Paul to halt a $1.15 billion arms sale between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

{mosads}Paul argued that that deal, which the Obama administration approved last August, would interject the U.S. in Yemen’s civil war. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition supporting the former Yemeni government.  

Trump last Saturday signed a deal with Saudi Arabia aimed at addressing the kingdom’s defenses amid threats from terrorist groups and Iran.   

The package is expected to include U.S. missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, Littoral Combat Ships, terminal high altitude area defense missile systems and munitions.

“That was a tremendous day,” Trump said of the deal, according to a pool report. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Trump was visiting Saudi Arabia as part of his first foreign trip as president, which includes stops in Israel and the Vatican.

–Jordain Carney contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:57 p.m.

Tags Defense Politics Rand Paul Republicans Saudi Arabia Senate
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