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McGovern Introduces Bill to Prohibit Saudi Arms Sales and Military Aid

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Washington, January 17, 2019 | comments
Today, Congressman James P. McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, together with a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers, introduced new legislation to immediately stop all military sales and aid to the government of Saudi Arabia.

The full text of the bill, H.R. 643. can be found here.

McGovern introduced similar legislation in October, 2018 following the death of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in cold blood by the Government of Saudi Arabia. The use of a diplomatic post as a torture chamber is an affront not only to international norms, but to basic human decency,” said Congressman McGovern. “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration refuses to take real action to stand up for our values and hold the Saudi Government accountable. It’s time for the United States to halt all weapons sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia. Our democratic values are on the line here – and we must step up and do the right thing.”

Following the bill's introduction, McGovern delivered this speech on the House Floor:

"Madam Speaker, I am proud to introduce today H.R. 643, a bipartisan bill to stop all U.S. arms sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia. Madam Speaker, it has been over one hundred days since the Government of Saudi Arabia brutally murdered journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khoshoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The Senate unanimously condemned the Saudi government for this heinous crime.  But the House remains silent. It’s past time the House clearly and unambiguously declared that there’s a price to pay for such barbarity. Let it begin by ending all U.S. arms sales and military aid to the Saudi government. I urge all my colleagues to join me and cosponsor H.R. 643.

Representatives Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jared Huffman (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) joined McGovern as original cosponsors of the bill.

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