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Trump meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office, March 20, 2018. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced 22 joint resolutions condemning weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without Congressional approval after the Trump administration circumvented lawmakers last month to secure $8.1 billion in arms sales with the two nations.

What's happening: Congress has authority to review all arms sales. However, the Trump administration argued that increased Iranian threats warranted a national security "emergency" to push through the package without congressional approval.

Per a statement from Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Todd Young along with Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez, Patrick Leahy, Chris Murphy and Jack Reed, the action was critical "to protect and reaffirm Congress' role of approving arms sales to foreign governments."

Between the lines: The United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia has grown more tense since Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed under order of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman last year.

"Now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia," Graham said.

  • The Senate also voted in March to end military support of the Saudi-led conflict with Yemen, which Trump vetoed.

What's next: Should the measures be approved by Congress, the resolutions will land on Trump's desk. If Trump vetos them, Congress will need a two-thirds vote to override.

Go deeper: Trump administration approved Saudi nuclear transfers after Khashoggi murder

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.