The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Congress has backed legislation that would impose some sanctions on the Saudi ruling family and block some weapons sales, pushing back against US President Donald Trump’s close ties to Riyadh.
The committee voted on Thursday 13-9, with three Republicans aligning with Democrats in the committee in backing the measure despite expected opposition from Trump.
To become law, the legislation must still pass the whole Senate, as well as the US House of Representatives and either be signed by Trump or gather the two-thirds majorities in both chambers of Congress to override a veto.
Historically, Congress has overridden fewer than ten percent of all presidential vetoes.
The measure was co-sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Todd Young.
The committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Jim Risch, opposed the bill, saying he wanted legislation to hold Riyadh accountable but argued that there was no point in passing a bill that Trump would veto.