Sen. Franken joins Sen. Rand Paul in pushing to halt Saudi arms sales
September 21, 2016 — 3:48pm
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken joined unusual forces Wednesday with Sen. Rand Paul to push the Obama administration to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
At issue, Franken said on the Senate floor, is the Saudi-backed civil war in Yemen where thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded. In the last decade, the U.S. has sold $100 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia. The Obama administration plans another $1.15 billion in tanks, armor and ammunition to sell to the Saudis.
The measure, which failed Wednesday 71 to 27, was a resolution of disapproval of the Saudi arms sale. Along with Franken, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and a handful of libertarian-minded Republicans, including former GOP presidential hopeful Paul, and liberal Democrats backed the resolution.
"The fact that we are even voting on it today sends a really important message in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Franken said. "It is ... we are watching you closely, the U.S. is not going to turn a blind eye to the indiscriminate killing."
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."