- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

Republican Sen. Rand Paul called Thursday for senators to create a veto-proof majority ahead of an initial vote to block President Trump’s Saudi arms deal, which later passed 53-45.

“This is a big deal and it is my hope the American people will watch how people vote and decide, is this who I want representing me?” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. “Do I want someone representing me to be someone who is selling arms to people who hate our country? Do I want to have people representing me who continue to flood the Middle East with arms?”

The Senate passed one of three resolutions that would prevent the sale of $350 billion worth of arms over 10 years. Mr. Trump has vowed to veto the move — which would require the vote of 67 senators to override.

“I’m a big fan of the president on many fronts, but on this, someone has to stand up, even a member of his own … we should not sell arms to countries who hate us,” said Mr. Paul, adding that we shouldn’t back Saudi Arabia only because we trust them more than Iran.

“We don’t sell weapons to Russia, we don’t sell weapons to China because we have disagreements and we don’t think it would be in our best interest to sell them weapons,” Mr. Paul said.

“What do you think happens if Saudi Arabia gets nuclear technology and there is a rumor of them developing towards nuclear weapons? What will Iran do? Automatically they will do the same thing,” he said, adding that, “maybe we need to take a break from the arms race in the Middle East.”

“Maybe when we’ve gotten involved we’ve had the unintended consequences of making it worse. People have this idea that you topple a dictator and somehow the next person they elect is going to be Thomas Jefferson. Every time we toppled a dictator, the people they elect, it’s not Thomas Jefferson.”

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