Trump administration bypasses Congress on Saudi arms sales, citing Iran threat

Fox News | 5/24/2019 | Alex Pappas
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President Trump tells reporters outside the White House that everything Attorney General Barr needs to investigate the Russia 'hoax' has been made available to him.

The Trump administration on Friday informed Congress the president will invoke his emergency authority to bypass lawmakers' approval of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the threat to the United States from Iran.

Move - Trump - Plans - Friday - Troops

The move comes as Trump announced plans Friday to send about 1,600 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.

"Iran’s malign activity poses a fundamental threat to the stability of the Middle East and to Americans at home and abroad. We took this step of prudent diplomatic deterrence to augment our partners’ long-term capacity for self-defense and threat mitigation," a senior State Department official told Fox News.

Official - Congress

The official added, "Congress won’t act, but we will. "

The administration is using an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with sales of $7 billion in precision-guided munitions, other bombs, ammo and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, without lawmakers' approval.

Sales - Allies - Enhance - Middle - East

"These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said in a Friday statement.

On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, said he was "reviewing and analyzing the legal justification for this action and the associated implications."

Administration - Authority - Presidents - Occasions

The administration pointed out that this authority has been invoked by past presidents on multiple occasions, including in 1979, 1984, 1990 and 2006.

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