Glad to see this is a bipartisan bill. Are the Republicans finally waking up to the fact that this autocratic and highly suspicious move to deliver billions in weapons to a heinous murderer is just the tip of the iceberg? I won’t be holding my breath, but at least this gives me a ray of hope.
Also glad to see that Kushner’s name was dragged into this hearing – as well it should be. It’s well known that the Crown Prince is Kushner’s BFF and this deal stinks of quid pro quo between the two.
On the other hand, I was a little disappointed that the article did not mention the fact that in the same time frame as this arms deal was unfolding, Kushner’s company received $90 million in foreign dark money. Two sources say at least some of it was from Saudi Arabia – the rest could also be from Saudi Arabia; we have no way of knowing since it was funneled to Kushner via shell companies.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation Wednesday that would halt the Trump administration’s push to circumvent Congress and expedite $8.1 billion in arms sales to Gulf countries by declaring an emergency.
The bill was announced shortly after a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill during which House lawmakers grilled a top State Department official over the Trump administration’s policy on selling weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.
Proposed by California Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, the joint resolution “would reject all 22 sales the Administration is attempting to ram through under a phony emergency declaration,” according to a statement released by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat.
In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally told lawmakers of the administration’s plan to use a pre-existing rule that would allow it to expedite arms sales to allies in the Middle East.
The move drew bipartisan condemnation, with lawmakers decrying the precedent it sets, questioning the administration’s claims of an emergency and raising the issue of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
House lawmakers reasserted that view Wednesday.
"The emergency declaration is nothing more than an egregious abuse of power by an Administration that doesn’t like being told, ‘No.’ There is no emergency, but there is a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians with US-made weapons and a Congress that is tired of being complicit," Lieu said in a statement. …
In addition to voicing their opposition to the emergency declaration itself, House lawmakers sought to extract answers related to the administration’s decision making process leading up to May’s announcement and the involvement of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.
But Cooper, repeatedly declined to answer questions from Democratic Rep. Bill Keating about whether Kushner played any role in discussions with the Saudis about arms sales.
WTF? At the time, we were blasted by headlines declaring that Kushner set up this deal – he owns it lock, stock, and barrel. Here’s just one example of the press coverage: “Trump signs Kushner-negotiated $100B Saudi arms deal,” CNN, May 17, 2017. There was plenty of opportunity for Kushner to deny involvement, instead he and his father-in-law were more than happy for him to take credit for it. Was it payback for that $90 million in foreign dark money? – we demand to know!