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Thu Jun 25, 2020, 03:51 PM

Trump Mulls Ending Heads-Up to Congress on U.S. Weapons Sales

Administration officials say they are tired of regular efforts by Capitol Hill to review arms exports to Saudi Arabia and other nations.

he Trump administration is in discussions to end a decades-old practice of informally notifying Congress of major arms sales to foreign countries, in a move that reflects mounting tensions between the administration and Capitol Hill, officials and congressional aides tell Foreign Policy.

The proposal comes amid mounting frustration from senior administration officials over informal holds from lawmakers on arms sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two close U.S. partners in the Middle East. Lawmakers have tried to block weapons sales to these countries over concerns about human rights issues and the prospect of civilian casualties, particularly with the Saudi-led coalition’s war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

The proposal sets the stage for another potential showdown between the Trump administration and lawmakers. It comes amid broader debates on Capitol Hill over the president’s ability to wage war without prior congressional approval—centered on U.S. military support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen—and an ongoing congressional investigation into Trump’s firing of the State Department inspector general, who was probing the administration’s emergency arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year.

If the administration moves forward with the plan, officials and congressional aides said, it would still send formal notifications to Congress for review, giving lawmakers a legal avenue to block sales in a 30-day window of time by passing a joint resolution to oppose the arms sales. (For close U.S. allies such as NATO members, Israel, Japan, or Australia, that window is 15 days.) But it would eliminate a practice dating back to the 1970s of informally notifying Congress of planned arms sales well in advance, so that lawmakers and congressional staffers, the State Department, and Pentagon officials can hash out concerns and disagreements about such sales behind closed doors.

[link:https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/25/trump-end-review-weapons-sales-congress/|

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Reply Trump Mulls Ending Heads-Up to Congress on U.S. Weapons Sales (Original post)
blondebanshee Jun 25 OP
C_U_L8R Jun 25 #1
greenjar_01 Jun 25 #2
abqtommy Jun 25 #3

Response to blondebanshee (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 04:11 PM

1. Why are we in the arms selling business??

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Response to blondebanshee (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 04:15 PM

2. Note to future policy makers: if the oversightee can end the oversight at will, it's not really

oversight.

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Response to blondebanshee (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 06:12 PM

3. Hint to Congress: It's past time to shut off the money that's available to support any part of the

executive branch...

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