President Trump is planning to use an emergency provision to bypass Congress and sell $7 billion in military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The sale had been held up by Congress over the shameful and horrifying murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The New York Times reported:
This spring, both the House and Senate approved bipartisan legislation to cut off military assistance to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen using the 1973 War Powers Act, only to see it vetoed in April.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said that circumventing Congress on a Middle East arms sale would be “a big mistake,” though he added that he would need to see the specifics of such a deal.
“We have a gold standard for that sort of arrangement, and to violate it for Saudi Arabia is going to open the door for it to happen in multiple other places,” he said.
This is a bipartisan feeling in Congress. The president will be flouting the law, abusing “emergency” powers, and providing more fuel to a fire with Iran that could burn out of control.
There is no reason other than his own hubris for Trump to do this right now. He should not.