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Key GOP Senator Will Oppose Donald Trump’s Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia

By in Huffington Post on June 13, 2017

By Akbar Shahid Ahmed

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) will support a motion to block President Donald Trump’s decision to sell over $500 million in precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, his office told HuffPost Tuesday morning.

The revelation raises the prospect that other Republicans might also vote against the sale during a scheduled Tuesday afternoon vote and highlights the level of congressional bipartisan anger about the Saudis’ conduct in a U.S.-backed campaign in Yemen.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced the resolution of disapproval against the munitions sale last month, after the Trump administration signaled that it would go ahead with it as part of a $110 billion weapons package for Saudi Arabia.

But a signal of disapproval from a lawmaker like Young is especially important: He’s a foreign policy traditionalist who sees the Saudis as important American partners, as opposed to Paul, who is a libertarian skeptical of all U.S. actions abroad and is largely isolated in the Senate. Young’s position is closer to that of Murphy, who has drawn attention for carefully argued critiques of Saudi Arabia that even veteran policymakers agree with and his acknowledgment of the Saudis’ concerns about regional rival Iran. His position on the vote, then, is far more likely to appeal to Republican senators like Marco Rubio (Fla.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Jerry Moran (Kan.) and James Lankford (Okla.).

Occupying a seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since his election last fall, Young has repeatedly called attention to the humanitarian effects of the Saudis’ actions in Yemen. United Nations observers say the Saudis are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths there.

The senator […]    

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