Congress Has Until Midnight to Stop Saudi Arms Deal

...but it probably won't
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2010 9:56 AM CST
In this Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 file photo, F-15 warplanes of the Saudi Air Force fly over the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh during a graduation ceremony at King Faisal Air Force University.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

(Newser) – The United States' $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia looks poised to go through, despite misgivings from some pro-Israeli lawmakers. The Defense Department notified lawmakers of the deal last month, giving them 30 days to block or amend it, the AP explains. That window expires tonight at midnight, but since Israel itself has voiced no loud objections, Congress has paid little attention to the deal, and seems unlikely to take action now.

The deal represents the biggest arms sale in US history. Israeli officials say they don’t like it, but won’t try to stop it. A group of 198 House members raised a brief stink last week, sending a letter demanding assurances that the deal wouldn’t compromise Israeli security in the Middle East; Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates responded Tuesday: “Our commitment to Israel’s QME (qualitative military edge) is rock solid.” No objections have been voiced since.

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