Senate bill denies Saudi royals visas until human rights improve

Posted Jul 11, 2019 by Ken Hanly
A US Senate bill would place restrictions on visas for members of the Saudi royal family until they improve their human rights record. The bill also contains some restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia
A file photo taken on October 9  2018 shows protesters holding portraits of missing Riyadh critic Ja...
A file photo taken on October 9, 2018 shows protesters holding portraits of missing Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi with the caption: "Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2" during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate
Senators hope bill will not be vetoed
The bill, S2006, is intended to continue Congressional efforts to punish Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and also it dismal human rights record on other issues, but without provoking Trump to veto it. The bill also includes some limits on US arms sales to the Saudis but would not threaten the bulk of arms sales.
Travel restriction on Saudi Royals
Senator Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho, said that the bill would deny visas to all members of the Saudi Royal Family until there a major improvements in human rights within the kingdom. Unlike past legislation, this bill makes very specific demands for improvement that includes the release of dozens of dissident activists.
Trump may not veto the bill
Trump has generally vetoed anything that is remotely against the Saudis, but there are reports that the White House is giving tacit support for the bill as a compromise. The bill shows some toughness towards the Saudis but does not threaten most of the arms sales to the country.
Trump vetoed bill to end support for the Saudi war in Yemen
A resolution to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen passed the Senate in March and the House of Representatives in April. This was the first time that both houses had supported a War Powers resolution that limits the ability of the president to send troops into action.
Trump called the resolution an unnecessary and dangerous attempt to limit his constitutional powers. Opposition in the US Congress to Trump's policy on Yemen, where the US gives intelligence support and also refuels Saudi planes, grew last year after Saudi agents killed journalist Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.