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Blumenthal & Khanna Call for U.S. to Stop Arms Sales to the Saudis in Response to OPEC+ Oil Production Cuts

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), Deputy Whip of the Progressive Caucus, held a press conference calling for the passage of their bicameral legislation to halt U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia until they reconsider the oil production cuts, which hurt the American people and bolster Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. 

Video of the full press conference can be found here.

The lawmakers underscored the threat of Saudi Arabia’s cooperation with Putin to U.S. national security and the global economy. 

“The Saudis need to come to their senses. They have committed a humongous blunder very much against their own economic and security interests as well as ours. The only apparent purpose of this cut in oil supplies is to help the Russians and harm Americans,” said Blumenthal. “We hope that this legislation will provide an impetus for the Saudis to reconsider and reverse this action. There’s still time.”

“We provide so much, not just in weapons, but in defense cooperation, in joint defense initiatives to the Saudis. They get almost 73% of their arms from the United States. If it weren’t for our technicians, their airplanes literally wouldn’t fly,” said Khanna. “Senator Blumenthal and I have a very reasonable proposal, which is just to pause the weapons sales, just to pause the defense cooperation until they reconsider.” 

Blumenthal and Khanna were also encouraged by President Biden calling for there to be consequences for the Saudis hurting Americans at the pump. 

“I’m hopeful that the President in his actions will prompt that kind of reconsideration and rebalancing by the Saudis. So, I think that the President is certainly moving in the right direction by saying that there will be consequences,” said Blumenthal. 

“A lot of the deals that were taking place over the previous administration gave them a sense of security and what President Biden is trying to do is just return to the proper balance. They may have been lulled into a false sense complacency because of the past administration,” said Khanna. 

The text of the Senate legislation, introduced Tuesday, can be found here. The House will soon introduce its version of the legislation.