“Exporting more missiles to Saudi Arabia only reinforces this conflict and spills gasoline on already raging fires,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Who introduced the legislation with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
The vote divided the Democratic Senate caucus, but the vast majority of GOP senators voted to support the sale proposed by the Biden administration.
“Saudi Arabia is literally surrounded by violent threats designed, funded and orchestrated by Iran,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “A vote to block the sale of defensive military systems to Saudi Arabia would undermine one of our most important regional partners. “
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (DN.J.), who has opposed arms sales to Riyadh in the past, said the Trump administration “was too happy to sell to the Saudis” while that the Biden administration “largely suspended” sales of offensive weapons.
“Make no mistake, the Saudi-led coalition bears the greatest responsibility for the devastation in Yemen,” Menendez said. “Yet, along with most of the members of this body, I have always supported the use of weapon systems for the defense of civilian populations. “
Former President Donald Trump has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for his willingness to support the Saudi Arabian coalition in the civil war in Yemen and for his public support for the denial of Crown Prince Mohammed bin’s involvement. Salman in the brutal 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump and his national security deputies have constantly pressured Congress to abandon its efforts to suppress Saudi Arabia.
President Joe Biden was also criticized earlier this year when he refused to impose sanctions on the crown prince even after he released an intelligence report saying the Saudi leader approved of Khashoggi’s murder.