It’s being reported now that Trump may use a loophole that allows him to bypass Congress to sale arms to Saudi Arabia:
YAHOO NEWS – The Trump administration is considering an emergency declaration that would allow it to make an arms shipment to Saudi Arabia without the approval of Congress, two U.S. officials and lawmakers opposed to the move said Thursday.
The officials say a decision on invoking a national security waiver in the Arms Export Control Act to bypass congressional review of proposed sales to the Saudis could be made as early as Friday. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Congressional opposition to U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia has been growing and lawmakers have blocked about $2 billion in arms sales to the kingdom for more than a year due to concerns over civilian casualties in the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen and outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October by Saudi agents.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who would authorize the waiver, has been considering the step for months, according to the officials. But the matter has become more pressing in recent weeks due to what the administration says are heightened threats from Iran and drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemen’s Houthi rebels this week.
Yahoo News reports that there is precedent for such a move:
There is precedent for using the emergency exemption for arms sales to Saudi Arabia. President Ronald Reagan invoked it in the 1980s and both Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush used it for sales before the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq war.
According to the NY Post, “The possible $7 billion sale to Saudi Arabia would include precision-guided munitions and combat aircraft, the Times said.”
They also report that under normal circumstances, Congress can still review the sale and block it. With the aggression from Iran, though, I suspect that this won’t constitute ‘normal circumstances’.