June 13, 2017

“Persistent and Misguided” Unresponsiveness of Saudi Government Leads to Vote Opposing Arms Deal

"Persistent and Misguided" Unresponsiveness of Saudi Government Leads to Vote Opposing Arms Deal

Washington DC - Today, Senator Todd Young delivered a speech on the Senate floor explaining his vote to oppose transferring certain defense articles to Saudi Arabia.

Young has led efforts in the senate related to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. He has pressed the Saudi government to take tangible steps to alleviate some of the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people.

Young also raised this issue this morning with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Click on the image below to view his full remarks:

Sen. Young clearly stated that his vote was not solely about the arms deal itself:

"I am not reflexively opposed to arms sales in general, and I am not necessarily opposed to arms sales to the Saudis in particular. On the contrary, after a series of questions are satisfactorily addressed, I believe arms sales to key partners and allies can enable them to more effectively defend our common interests and oppose common threats."

Sen. Young also emphasized that while Saudi Arabia is an important regional ally, the U.S. must not neglect our national security interests or humanitarian values:

"I recognize that-despite our differences-the Saudi government is an important regional security partner for the United States. However, when we work through allies and partners, we should not set aside our national security interests, and we certainly should not set aside our support for universal humanitarian principles. That principle certainly applies to the Saudis and to the situation in Yemen."

Sen. Young reiterated his position concluding:

"So, my decision today is based neither on an opposition to arms sales in general nor an opposition to arms sales to the Saudis in particular. Instead, my decision today is based primarily on the persistent and misguided refusal of the Saudi government to take specific steps I have requested to alleviate some of the humanitarian suffering in Yemen. My decision should come as a surprise to no one."