Top Democrats push to pause U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Dan Abrams Live

(NewsNation) — The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has vowed to block all future weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. He’s outraged at OPEC’s decision to slash oil output by 2 million barrels a day.

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is urging the Biden administration to immediately freeze all aspects of U.S. cooperation with the Saudis.

This comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. He faced criticism by human rights advocates, especially supporters of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who U.S. intelligence concluded was kidnapped and executed at the order of Saudi’s crown prince. But Biden withstood criticism and took the trip anyway.

Now, Dan Abrams say,s it sure feels like Biden got hoodwinked by the Saudi prince.

Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and California Democrat Congressman Ro Khanna, both members of the Armed Services Committee, want to immediately pause all U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This includes the planned “Red Sands” U.S. military testing facility in Saudi Arabia that would develop and test integrated air and missile defense capabilities.

The pair is expected to propose legislation in both the House and the Senate on Tuesday to stop weapons sales to the Saudis.

“The priority is to get gas prices low, and what we need to do is be very tough on Saudi Arabia. I mean, after all we’ve done for that country. President Bush, the first Bush, defended them against Saddam Hussein and made sure that they weren’t invaded. We give them all of the weapons, 70% of their weapons. For them to do this to the American people is outrageous. And we should say if they don’t reverse their decision, we’re going to stop sending them weapons,” Khanna said.

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department analyst, joined “Dan Abrams Live” to discuss how much leverage the U.S. actually has in this situation. Miller believes legislators should consider three questions.

“Number one, are we trying to punish or change Saudi behavior? … Number two, do we want to make the situation better or worse? And number three, I think we have to face the politically inconvenient reality that our leverage and our clout in this region has been much reduced,” Miller said.

Miller does believe, however, that Biden may be regretting the Saudi trip.

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