President Donald Trump invoked a rarely used provision of American arms control laws on Friday to sidestep Congress and pave the way to authorizing billions of dollars in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Wall Street Journal reports that many lawmakers believe that the move is an abuse of power, and Republican Congressman Justin Amash appears to be one of them. In a Friday tweet, Amash blasted Trump’s decision and suggested that the legislative branch was failing to push back against the executive branch.
“.@POTUS is (again) going around Congress—this time to unilaterally approve billions in arms sales, including to the brutal Saudi regime. Congress must reclaim its powers. When will the legislative branch stand up to the executive branch?”
Amash is the only Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment, and it appears that — at least for the time being — he is the only member of the party to oppose Trump’s recent push for arms sales to the Middle East.
But Democrat Chris Murphy believes that the decision suggests that if Iran’s provocations or the civil war in Syria is an emergency then the Middle East is in a permanent state of emergency “that will never allow Congress to oversee an arms sale.”
Representative Eliot Engel called the move “another slap in Congress’s face,” and said that the law was written to “reflect broad consensus on foreign policy.”
Amash, a Libertarian-leaning congressman who expressed support for Trump’s impeachment and presented a detailed case for his position on Twitter, previously expressed dismay at the president’s use of a national emergency to secure funding for the border wall. CNN reports that he was the only member of the Freedom Caucus — which he co-founded — to vote against Trump’s move, despite the group criticizing President Barack Obama’s use of executive power to circumvent Congress.
“In some sense you’ve delegitimized objections to the President,” he said of them.
“You’ve built up such credibility for him that you just can’t challenge him anymore.”
As The Inquisitr reported, Amash believes that the actions of Trump outlined in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election are grounds for impeachment.
“Some of the president’s actions were inherently corrupt. Other actions were corrupt—and therefore impeachable—because the president took them to serve his own interests.”
Amash’s decision to attack Trump has caused backlash from both Trump and the Republican party, and on Wednesday, Republican megadonors, the DeVos family, cut ties with the Michigan representative.