Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)

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."

Saudi arms sales move forward after Trump veto

In this image, Trump smiles and shakes hands with MBS.
Trump shakes hands with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud June 29. Photo: Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump vetoed 3 bipartisan resolutions that would have blocked more than $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

Why it matters: These sales would "replenish part of the Saudi arsenal that lawmakers say has been used against civilians in Yemen’s civil war," per the Washington Post. Trump's relationship with Saudi Arabia has been one area of sustained bipartisan backlash, due in part to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.