Senate to Vote This Week on $1.15 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia

Concerned over casualties in Yemen, Senators force a vote on the planned deal.

— -- The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution to reject a pending arms sale from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia following reports of civilian casualties in Yemen at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition.

"I think this war in Yemen poses an immediate crisis within our relationship," Murphy said. "I think we need to press pause on this arms sale in order to send a strong signal to the Saudis that the way they have conducted this war is unacceptable."

Last month, the U.S. Department of State gave preliminary approval for a massive sale of land force weapons to Saudi Arabia worth $1.15 billion, including scores of tanks, machine guns and ammunition. The announcement of the arms sale to Saudi Arabia came the same day that The Associated Press reported 14 civilians were killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Murphy said in the briefing this morning that they expected a bipartisan group of senators would vote in favor of the resolution to stop the arms sale and hopes this will "send a loud signal both to this administration and the Saudis that the conduct of the war inside Yemen has to change.”

"I think more broadly I think we have to have a discussion about whether this is the right time to be sending record numbers of arms to the Middle East,” the senator added.

The official said they have reiterated calls for the Saudi-led coalition to take all feasible measures to protect civilian lives and encouraged peaceful dialogue.