U.S. Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Rand Paul (R-KY) urged the Senate to support his bipartisan joint resolution of disapproval to block proposed U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Dr. Paul was joined by U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Mike Lee (R-UT) in introducing the resolution last month. Dr. Paul gave remarks on the floor before the Senate proceeded to vote on a motion to discharge the resolution from the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“A message needs to be sent to Saudi Arabia that we don’t approve of their war with Yemen,” said Dr. Paul. “By participating in this sale, we would not only be rewarding reprehensible behavior, but also exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Congress and the Biden Administration should consider the possible consequences of this sale that could accelerate an arms race in the Middle East and jeopardize the security of our military technologies.”

On November 4, 2021, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $650 million. The AIM-120C is predominately used defensively to strike drones from the air; although, they could conceivably be used in an offensive strike on other aircraft. The proposed sale comes in light of the Saudi-led fuel blockade of Yemen, which has prevented the free flow of food and water in the country. Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced an end to “offensive” support in the war in Yemen. However, Saudi Arabia has continued its blockade in Yemen, which has worsened the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The joint resolution of disapproval is cosponsored by Senators Sanders (D-VT), Lee (R-UT), Leahy (D-VT), Wyden (D-OR), Warren (D-MA), Markey (D-MA), Merkley (D-OR), and Murray (D-WA).

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