Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement about the Trump Administration’s utilization of an emergency waiver to facilitate arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan:

“Iran and its proxies are a serious and growing threat in the Middle East. In recent days, our allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, among others, have been on the receiving end of attacks from Iran-backed terror groups and armed militias. Iran is the number one state sponsor of terror and has a brutal history of American bloodshed from the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon to the deaths of over 600 U.S. service members from 2003 to 2011. They continue to flout United Nations Security Council resolutions on ballistic missile tests and are holding Americans hostage today.

“It is in our national security interest to ensure our strategic allies in the region have the resources they need to best defend themselves against Iran. The stronger our alliances are in the region the more we can deter Iran from its malign activities.

“I understand the Administration’s frustration that key members of Congress held these arms sales for an extended period of time, in some cases for over a year. However, the President’s decision to use an emergency waiver on these sales is unfortunate and will damage certain future congressional interactions.   

“I would have strongly preferred for the Administration to utilize the long-established and codified arms sale review process that requires the president to submit a formal notification to Congress. Providing notification allows Congress a specified number of days to take action to disapprove and block a sale, if they choose to do so.  I look forward to engaging with the Administration on this matter and other future arms sales in the region and elsewhere.”