Republican Senator Jim Risch introduces legislation calling for 'comprehensive review' of the US-Saudi relationship. after Trump Meeting.
Trump speaks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a family photo session with other leaders and attendees at the G20 leaders' summit in Osaka, Japan The Republican chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jim Risch, has introduced legislation seeking to push back on Saudi Arabia over its human rights record and criticising Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The bill, seen by Reuters news agency on Wednesday, is the latest effort in the US Congress to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for rights abuses, including the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey and a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are fighting Iran-supported Houthi rebels.
However, it does not address weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Risch had said he wanted to introduce legislation that President Donald Trump would sign.
Although Trump's fellow Republicans hold a majority of seats in the Senate, the chamber last month defied him by voting to block billions of dollars in military sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries. A handful of Republicans joined Democrats to pass resolutions to block the sales, rejecting Trump's decision to sidestep Congress's review of such deals by declaring an emergency over Iran. Trump has promised to veto all 22 of the resolutions of disapproval. The measures did not get enough votes in the Senate to override his veto.
In another rebuke to Trump, Senate votes to block Saudi arms sale Risch's bill calls for a "comprehensive review" of and a report on Washington's relationship with Saudi Arabia addressing issues including the Saudi diplomatic presence in the US. It also calls upon Trump to deny or revoke visas of any Saudi citizens tied to rights abuses, although it allows waivers if they are in the US national interest. The House of Representatives is due to vote on some of the resolutions of disapproval of the weapons sales next week.
SOURCE: Reuters news agency