At least five Republican senators who voted against a bill on Wednesday to withdraw U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen have received funding from Saudi lobbyists, according to Newsweek.
Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boozman of Arizona, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Tim Scott of South Carolina received financial contributions from lobbying firms that worked for Saudi Arabia, according to a report by the Center for International Policy released last month.
The report names Blunt as one of the top 10 recipients of campaign contributions from firms representing Saudi Arabia in 2017, along with Democratic lawmakers like Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Blunt’s campaign allegedly received $19,250 in campaign contributions from Saudi-linked firms last year.
Senators Boozman and Crapo received $1,000 contributions from Squire Patton Boggs PAC, which was working for Saudi Arabia at the time, according to the report. And Boozman, Crapo, Burr and Scott all allegedly received donations of around $2,000 on days when they were contacted by Saudi lobbyists.
Efforts to stop the war in Yemen have picked up intensity following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month in Turkey, which U.S. intelligence officials reportedly believe was directed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Senators voted 63 in favor and 37 against to move the resolution forward on Tuesday. The vote was a procedural step that will see the bill move forward in the Senate, but the House of Representatives has yet to act on Yemen.
“I commend the Senate for advancing a bipartisan resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. It’s insane that Congress has gone this long without taking formal action to curb U.S. involvement in atrocities committed in Yemen. Thank you to the 63 senators, who today took a step towards saying ‘enough is enough,’” Ted Lieu, Democratic Congressman from California said in a statement.
President Donald Trump, who has been reluctant to blame the Crown Prince for the killing, has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.