WASHINGTON: The US Senate will vote next week on whether to block President Donald Trump's arms sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a top official announced.
In a statement on Thursday, New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez said that he expctes to bring up the votes next week, which he will be able to do without backing from the Republicans because of the rules governing arms sale resolutions, reports The Hill news website. "It's ready, it has privilege on the floor. We are gathering support for it and I would think sometime next week," the Senator was quoted as saying in the statement.
The announcement comes after Menendez, along with Senators Rand Paul (Republican) and Chris Murphy (Democrat) introduced four resolutions of disapproval to block the $23 billion sale to the UAE of F-35 fighter jets, armed drones, missiles and bombs.
Last month, the administration notified that it approved selling the UAE up to 50 F-35s worth $10.4 billion, up to 18 MQ-9B drones worth $2.97 billion and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions worth $10 billion. If every Democrat backs the resolutions, the party would need three Republican senators to get to 51 votes.
Since Paul is a co-sponsor that means they would only need an additional two Republican senators, The Hill news website report said.
Last year, Congress voted to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE amid outrage over the killing of journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (IANS)