President Trump Declares a National Emergency to Proceed with Arms Sales to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia
Today May 24, 2019 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced President Trump has declared a national emergency in order to proceed with “22 pending arms transfers to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia totaling approximately $8.1 billion to deter Iranian aggression… support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran” (1). Although not approved by Congress, Secretary Pompeo cited “section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act” to move forward with the deals as “[d]elaying this shipment could cause… [safety] concerns for our key partners, during a time of increasing regional volatility. These national security concerns have been exacerbated by many months of Congressional delay[, and] today’s action will quickly augment our partners’ capacity to provide for their own self-defense and reinforce recent changes to U.S. posture in the region to deter Iran” (1). Section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act allows the President to state “that an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States, thus waiving the congressional review requirements” (2). Secretary Pompeo says the exercising of Secion 36 will “be a one-time event” and he “look[s] forward to continuing to work with Congress to develop prudent measures to advance and protect U.S. national security interests in the region” (1).