The House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia over its killing of the U.S.-based dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The bill, H.R. 1392, would bar sales, authorizations and transfer of arms and other defense services from the president to Saudi Arabia. President Joe Biden, however, could continue sales if he can certify the country is not engaged in killing, torturing or endangering the lives of dissidents and detaining U.S. and international citizens.
The legislation, which passed 350-71, is sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who represents Khashoggi’s district in Virginia.
“Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder and dismemberment will not be forgotten, and it will not go unaddressed,” Connolly tweeted. “The House of Representatives has spoken clearly: Saudi Arabia must be held to account.”
The legislation comes after Biden received pushback from progressives over his foreign policy balancing act. Many progressives are still upset that the president did not impose sanctions on bin Salman, after he decided that the crown prince was too valuable an ally in a region where the bigger threat to U.S. interests is Iran.