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Senate fails to override Trump veto of ban on Saudi weapon sales

Trump and Mohammed bin Salman
Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Senate on Monday failed to override President Trump's veto of three resolutions seeking to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, falling 22 votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Why it matters: The initial passage of the resolutions marked yet another bipartisan rebuke of the administration's close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has come under increased scrutiny in the months since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government. Trump, in vetoing the resolutions, argued that they "would weaken America's global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners."

The big picture: In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that Trump would invoke an emergency provision allowing him to bypass Congress to sell nearly $8 billion worth of weapons — prompting fury from senators on both sides of the aisle. The failure of the Senate to override Trump's vetoes leaves Congress with little recourse for influencing the administration's controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Go deeper: Trump replenishes Saudi arsenal by vetoing arms sale blocks