Washington (May 24, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced the Trump administration’s decision reported in new media stories to intentionally bypass mandated Congressional review of U.S. arms sales abroad required by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) in order to sell billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. President Trump and his administration are using the guise of an “emergency” to justify circumventing Congress. This emergency supposedly pertains to Iran, despite President Trump’s acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan stating earlier this week that the threat from Iran had been “put on hold.”


“President Trump seems to think the AECA requires him to Amplify Emergencies and Coddle Authoritarians,” said Senator Markey. “Congress has held up arms sales to Saudi Arabia because both Democrats and Republicans have serious concerns about the Saudi government’s increasing authoritarianism, abuse of its own citizens’ fundamental human rights, and growing aggression toward countries in the Middle East. Unfortunately, President Trump and his cronies have found yet a new way to sell out America’s moral leadership and global standing for quick profits at the expense of American national security.”


“The Trump administration’s disregard for Congress is clear. Despite bipartisan opposition, this administration is doing everything possible to sell Saudi Arabia dangerous nuclear technologies it shouldn’t have, refusing to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and vetoing Congressional attempts to limit U.S. support for the disastrous, immoral Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. It cannot be permitted to add selling advanced U.S. weaponry without Congressional approval to this list, and I will work tirelessly with my Senate colleagues to ensure this does not happen.”