Two Hill Democrats Punch Back First: Say Ban Saudi Arms Over OPEC Cut

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Ro Khanna, Democrats, are proposing the U.S. halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to oil production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to which that country belongs.

  • Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and Khanna, of California, stated their intentions in an op-ed Sunday in Politico in which they call on Congress to cut off arms sales to the Saudi Arabia, the leading OPEC country, until it reverses its “embrace” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Putin’s roughly 7-month-long war on Ukraine and the Russian leader cutting off crucial energy supplies to European countries that opposed to his invasion have already roiled the global energy market and jacked up prices before OPEC last week announced it would cut its oil output.
  • “Members of Congress are already talking about how best to respond,” the lawmakers wrote. “Some … propose reviving a GOP initiative to withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia. But that idea has failed previously given that the U.S. would rather have its own troops there than Russian or Chinese troops. A simpler, far more urgent move to fortify U.S. national security would be to pause all U.S. military supplies, sales and other weapons aid to Saudi Arabia.”
  • OPEC’s decision and Democrats’ response come less than three months after President Biden visited Saudi Arabia during which he asked the country’s leaders to increase oil production to lessen the impact of Russia’s war.
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