State Secretary Mike Pompey's recent decision to authorize the sale of emergency weapons to Saudi Arabia was a "foolishness" exercise whistling federal law, a prominent Senate Republican citizen.
"The process that the state department followed for these arms sales, not to put too fine a point on it, was intimidated," said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday during a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. "The simpler process is to follow the damned law and respect it."
Pompeo used an emergency in federal law to break a logjam of arms sales to Saudi Arabia with reference to "many months of congress delay" upon approval of offers amid increased tensions with Iran The maneuver angry Democrats opposed to sales, Cruz's emphatic attack showed that irritation has spread over parties.
"Do not make the mistake of believing that it is only democrats who are concerned about it," Cruz told R. Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary, who heads the Political-Military Affairs Bureau of Pompeo. "I voted with the administration on the substance because of the threat of Iran, but I say to you that if the administration does so again and there is no living and urgent emergency, you will not get my vote and I predict you will not vote against a number of other Republicans. "
Cooper defended the May 24 Emergency Declaration, which approved 22 separate trades with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, as a sound answer to reports on Iranian plot against US forces in region. The view of the US and Gulf Alliance solidarity he proposed, contributed to the United States' efforts to discourage conflict with Iran. And it had the broader value of stymieing Russian and Chinese attempts to find any bargains that could pull the Saudis away from the American partnership, he added.
"This action is not meant to be an escalating military stage, but instead it is a high and clear message to Iran that we are facing our regional partners an It is a particularly dangerous time," Cooper cooperated. "We simply cannot allow openings, our opponents will certainly exploit to disrupt partnerships to reduce our regional influence, affect our defense industrial base and spread chaos."
Senate Foreign Relations President James Risch stresses that the administration should not use emergency declarations in a way that would "have a meaningful impact on the congressional authority over time" accepted this argument.
"Declarations of emergency are useful not only for the tangible military capabilities they transmit to allies and partners, but are equally important for the messages they convey," said the idaho republican.
But the ploye argued Bob Menendez, the top democrat on the panel. The New Jersey Senator had used its procedural powers to stop the sale, many of which are intended to support the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fight against Iranian-backed Rebel groups in Yemen. Bipartisan resistance to such offers has grown over the past year due to frustration over Saudi Arabia's murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the growing civilian accidents in the Yemeni conflict.
"How would sales that will not be delivered for many, many months immediately respond to an emergency?" Menendez asked and challenged the legality of the statement. "In fact, the department hasn't made a compelling case, you haven't done anything since October last year, after Jamal Khashoggi was literally slaughtered on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi government."
Cruz, who considers Saudi Arabia as one of America's "problematic allies," noted that none of the approved weapons have been shipped for 47 days since the alert.
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