In-Depth: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced this resolution to block an arms sale to Bahrain over its role in the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has led to many civilian casualties and precipitated a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
The administration explained the proposed sale through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency:
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally which is an important security partner in the region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) plays a significant role in Bahrain’s defense.”
Paul’s resolution excludes a separate arms sale of the Patriot missile system to Bahrain at a cost of $2.478 billion.
During the last Congress, Paul used the Arms Export Control Act to force a vote that would’ve blocked the sale of about $350 million in missiles and launchers to Bahrain, but the Senate voted to table his motion.
Of Note: The Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress 30 calendar days before it concludes a foreign military sale to a non-major ally and allows Congress to modify or reject the sale using expedited procedures.
After a disapproval resolution is introduced in the Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee has 10 calendar days to report it, and if no action is taken the lawmaker introducing it can force a floor vote on a motion to discharge the resolution. If it succeeds, the resolution is then considered with overall debate limited to 10 hours. The House doesn’t have a discharge procedure, although the resolution is still given expedited consideration in the chamber.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo - MSgt. Andy Dunaway / Public Domain)