60 Lawmakers Seek Delay of Billion Dollar Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

a sign that frustration is growing in Congress over Saudi Arabia, a bipartisan group of 60 lawmakers have signed a letter seeking to delay the Obama administration’s planned sale of $1.15 billion in arms and military equipment to Riyadh.

The letter, addressed to President Barack Obama, cites the growing number of civilian casualties in Yemen caused by the Saudi-led military coalition, and the Obama administration’s failure to reign in its Arab ally.

“This military campaign has had a deeply troubling impact on civilians,” wrote the lawmakers in a draft obtained by Foreign Policy. “Just in the last several days, a Saudi airstrike on a school in Yemen killed 10 children – some as young as 6-years-old – and a Saudi airstrike on an MSF hospital in Yemenkilled 11 people.”

The missive is expected to be sent to the White House on Tuesday.

The proposed sale, approved by the State Department on Aug. 9, includes up to 153 tanks, ammunition, hundreds of machine guns, and sundry other military equipment. Congress has 30 days to block the sale, but the lawmakers appear irritated that the notification of the sale came in the middle of Congress’s summer recess.


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