Politics

Two Senate Democrats Break With Party To Approve Trump Arms Deal With United Arab Emirates

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Two Senate resolutions to block an arms sale agreement between the Trump administration and the United Arab Emirates narrowly failed in Senate vote Wednesday. 

A resolution to block the sale of F-35 jets to the Arab state failed by a vote of 49-47, while a separate resolution on the sale of Reaper drones failed 50-46, according to NBC news. Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, along with Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, crossed party lines in the votes. 

Both Arizona Democrats voted against the drone resolution, while Kelly re-joined the Democrats in voting for the F-35 bill. Rand Paul joined Democrats in an attempt to block both sales. (RELATED: Report: 39 Pieces Of Radio Equipment Snatched From ‘Doomsday Plane’ At Top Secret Russian Air Base)

President Donald Trump indicated he would veto the resolutions even if they did pass, NBC reports. The 30-day window in which Congress could choose to block the sale ends Friday.

The sale reportedly includes as many as 50 F-35 jets and 18 Reaper drones. The UAE will become the first Arab country to obtain F-35s, according to the Washington Post

Critics say the weapons could be used to carry out attacks against civilians in Yemen or to violate a Libyan arms embargo, reports NBC. The UAE has also previously been accused of funneling American weapons to terrorists. (RELATED: Officials Say Arrests Made In Robot Assassination Of Top Nuclear Scientist)

Israeli officials initially opposed the sale but have rescinded their concerns, according to NBC. Israel and the UAE reached a historic peace agreement brokered by the Trump administration earlier this year.