On Monday, the Senate failed to override President Trump‘s vetoes of resolutions blocking his arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Senators voted 45-40, 45-39 and 46-41 on the override attempts, falling comfortably below the two-thirds majority that is needed to override Trump’s veto.
GOP Senators Susan Collins, Mike Lee, Jerry Moran, Lisa Murkowski, and Todd Young voted alongside Democrats to override each of the three vetoes. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who was not present in the first two votes, joined them in the third vote.
These votes came in the wake of Trump’s veto of the arms sale resolutions last week. Trump argued that Congress’s moves “would weaken America’s global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners.”
In June, the Trump administration announced the arms deal, estimating it to be worth more than $8 billion, relying on an “emergency” provision in the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) to circumvent the 30-day congressional notification requirement.
The administration argues that the emergency declaration was justified on the grounds that Iran presents an imminent threat to the U.S. and suggested that Congress spend its time trying to negotiate an end to the Yemeni Civil War.
The Yemeni Civil war and the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have called into question the U.S.’s special relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez said, “From the start this administration has failed to demonstrate what kind of national security threat or ‘emergency’ from Iran warranted fast-tracking this sale of arms.”
He added, “it’s clear the administration has other motives from the start.”
Like the Trump administration’s previous veto of a resolution that would have cut off aid to Saudi Arabia, this recent veto shows that there are still powerful interests in D.C. who call the shots.
Liberty conservatives will have to work overtime to make sure that both chambers of Congress are filled with America First representatives, while building coalitions with Democrats who actually believe in a restrained foreign policy.
That way, they can actually override Trump’s vetoes.