Utah Republican Sens. Mike Lee, Mitt Romney split on Trump’s Saudi Arabia arms sale


FILE – From left, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., arrive before NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a Joint Meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Lee has signed on to a Democratic-backed effort to block President Donald Trump’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries, saying, “Congress has ceded too much authority to the executive branch.”
Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee has signed on to a Democratic-backed effort to block President Donald Trump’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries, saying “Congress has ceded too much authority to the executive branch.”

Lee, R-Utah, also said the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will support their involvement in the ongoing civil war in Yemen that Lee has strongly opposed.

But Sen. Mitt Romney is not among the four Republicans so far who are co-sponsoring a series of resolutions of disapproval, giving Senate Democrats enough votes to stall the $8 billion deal.

Still, Romney, R-Utah, has some reservations, even though he backs the sale.

“I support the Saudi arms sale,” Romney told The Hill. “I’m concerned about the process the administration has undertaken, and that’s something I’m taking a look at.”

Lee railed against the process in a statement issued Wednesday, after he joined fellow Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Todd Young of Indiana in opposing the deal.

“Circumventing Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE without following the standard statutory procedure undermines Congress’ role in conducting oversight of the arms sales process and ignores the rule of law,” he said.

What he said is a “rarely used emergency loophole” being used by the president to make a total of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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