UPDATED 5:31 PM PT – Wednesday, December 8, 2021
A bipartisan effort in the Senate failed to block the continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
In a vote of 30-to-67, the proposal fell short of the simple majority needed to stop the $650 million sale to the kingdom. The effort to block the sales was spearheaded by Utah’s Mike Lee (R), Kentucky’s Rand Paul (R) and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders (I).
The senators argued that Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be rewarded for its aggressions in Yemen and the attacks on its own people with more arms from the U.S.
“As the Saudi government continues to wage its devastating war in Yemen and repress its own people, we should not be rewarding them with more arms sales,” said Sanders.
LIVE: The Saudi government is waging a devastating war in Yemen and repressing its own people. We should not be rewarding them with more weapons of war. I’m on the floor of the Senate NOW to block an arms sale to this regime. https://t.co/88tBgyjXDE
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 7, 2021
Senate leadership from both parties disagreed with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying the body should be wary of turning their backs on longtime allies. Meanwhile, Democrats remained split on the vote, while Paul and Lee were the only members of the GOP to support the block.