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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed to lawmakers on Friday that President Trump will invoke an emergency provision allowing him to bypass Congress to sell nearly $8 billion worth of weapons that would benefit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The "rare" move to declare an emergency in an effort to push through 22 arms deals is troubling to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who are concerned that the White House is tipping the system of checks and balances, per the Post. Some fear that selling weapons to Gulf nations could fan the flames of tension between the U.S. and Iran, per the New York Times.

The context:

  • The U.S. has previously sold weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. What worries lawmakers is the use of these weapons against civilians in Yemen, per the New York Times.
  • Both the House and Senate passed a resolution to cut off American support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, but Trump vetoed the legislation.
  • Saudi Arabia has been using American-made weapons against Iranian-backed groups in the Yemeni Civil War.

What they're saying: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has been blocking the sale of weapons and released a statement saying Trump is ignoring long-term U.S. security interests and "granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia," per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Why the U.S. got (and stayed) involved in Yemen's brutal war

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: AΓ―da Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" β€”Β The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows β€” America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Biden's debut nightmare

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address β€” virtually β€” a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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