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GOP senator introduces bill to remove US troops from Saudi Arabia

GOP senator introduces bill to remove US troops from Saudi Arabia
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Bottom line Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (R-La.) introduced legislation Thursday that would remove U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia in 30 days, as the country's high level of oil output pushes prices down and hurts American producers.

The measure would pull troops from Saudi Arabia in half the amount of time as a similar GOP bill introduced in March, according to Reuters.

Cassidy offered his bill at a time when OPEC+, an oil production group including Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, as well as Russia, are working toward finalizing an agreement to cut oil output.

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The negotiations were taking place amid a production standoff between Saudi Arabia and Russia after Russia refused to cut its production in response to decreased demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. The dispute and lower demand had sent prices to the lowest level in 18 years last month.

Cassidy, who represents a major oil producing state, said the extended supply from Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has made it impossible for energy companies in the United States to compete.

His bill faces an uphill climb. The Trump administration has forged strong ties with Saudi Arabia, a regional ally that's also opposed to Iran's growing military strength.

Cassidy's bill also would impose tariffs on imports of oil from Saudi Arabia within 10 days of enactment to ensure the price of imports does not fall below $40 a barrel.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE previously threatened tariffs on oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Russia but has not followed through.