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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Two U.S. Senators Seek to Block Saudi PGM Sale

U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) seek to reinstate a short-lived ban on the sale of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) to Saudi Arabia.

A day after Senator Paul told Breitbart News he would oppose a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Senator Paul, a Republican, teamed up with Democratic Senator Murphy to announce legislation that would put a block on the sale of PGMs to Saudi Arabia.

Senator Murphy released information on their legislation on his Twitter account. They linked the resolution to the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a military campaign.
Previously, the administration of former President Barack Obama placed a ban on the sale of PGMs to Saudi Arabia. That hold, revealed in December 2016, was put in place in response to allegations of war crimes in the Saudi campaign in Yemen, which Riyadh denies.

President Obama had come under intense pressure from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as rights groups.

President Trump, the successor to President Obama, reversed the decision earlier this year. A group of mostly Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to several cabinet officials last month expressing disappointment in the change in policy.

PGMs are one component of a major arms deal worth almost $110 billion announced earlier this month.

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