116th Congress (January 01, 2019 – Present)

March 19th, 2019

March 14th, 2019

March 13, 2019

The United States Senate passed a bill invoking the War Powers Resolution as it relates to U.S involvement in the war in Yemen. Up next, the Senate version of the bill will be considered by the House of Representatives.

March 12th, 2019

Duel legislation introduced in both chambers of Congress once-again calling on the government of Iran to fulfill its promises to provide information concerning the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.

March 7th, 2019

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced legislation that would formally repeal the authorizations that allowed past Presidents to pursue military action in Kuwait in 1991 and Iraq in 2003.

Congressman Theodore Deutch introduced legislation similar to that of past Congressional sessions that calls on Iran to release American residents currently held hostage in Iran.

March 6th, 2019

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee held a joint hearing for the positions of United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and United States Ambassador to Iraq. Both nominees are expected to be voted into the positions.

March 5th, 2019

February 28th, 2019

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA30) introduced complementary legislation in both chambers seeking to give Congress approval authority over potential US-Saudi Nuclear Cooperation.

Following similar legislation introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley on February 12, Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI09) has introduced legislation seeking to ensure that any US-Saudi nuclear cooperation is done within the “gold-standard” of nuclear non-proliferation.

Congressman David Kustoff introduces legislation to track corruption of Iranian government officials and business entities.

February 26th, 2019

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduces legislation that would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress outlining the actors involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

A bipartisan group of Representatives on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter to the Departments of State and Defense concerning the end-use of US-made weapons. The letter in its entirety can be read here.

February 25th, 2019

Update: In spite of passing the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) deemed an amendment to H.J Res 37 as “ungermane,” thereby stripping the bill of its privileged status in the Senate.  Subsequently, this allows him to block debate on the bill. Now, supportive Senators must push for a new bill, that if passed, will be sent to the House for approval.

After having been prevented from debating a similar bill in the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives has passed House Joint Resolution 37. Up next, complementary legislation will likely be considered by the United States Senate.

February 22nd, 2019

Senator and 2020 Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren has sent a letter to Departments of State and Defense seeking clarification upon reports of United-States manufactured weapons ending up in unintended hands. For more on what a hypothetical Warren Administration could mean for the Gulf, click here.

February 19th, 2019

The House Oversight Committee released a report outlining reports of whistleblowers accusing the Trump Administration of pursuing a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia in an illegal manner. The full report can be read here.

February 14th, 2019

Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Bob Menendez sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing his response to an investigation invoked by the Global Magnitsky Act concerning the murder of Jamal Khashoggi of being insufficient. Senator Menendez gave Secretary Pompeo a February 28th deadline for the State Department to turn over documents related to their investigation.

Similar to a resolution introduced in the House the previous day, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has called on the Senate to express that Saudi Arabia must release female activists currently imprisoned. To learn more about issues facing women in the Gulf – click here.

February 13th, 2019

Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL21) introduces a piece of legislation regarding women’s activists detained in Saudi Arabia. To read more about women’s issues in the Gulf region, click here.

February 12th, 2019

Seemingly identical to legislation introduced in the 115th Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley has introduced legislation declaring the Senate’s view on US-Saudi nuclear cooperation. To read more about nuclearization in the Gulf region, click here.

February 09, 2019

Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH01) introduces legislation that would allow OPEC member nations to be sued under US antitrust law. Such legislation would have far-reaching ramifications for Gulf nations ans oil companies.

February 7th, 2019

Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Menendez introduces legislation to reprimand Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, as well as for its role in the Yemen War. Read more about Congress’s potential coming efforts in the “United States” section of GIF’s 2019 Forecast.

February 5th, 2019

After having been introduced on January 08, 2019, the bill has passed the Senate.

January 30th, 2019

Restarting the previous Congress’ efforts to change US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, several members of Congress introduced legislation that would highly restrict American military involvement, including two that invoked the War Powers Resolution.

 

January 24th, 2019

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Ron Wyden (D) introduce legislation seeking to investigate Saudi nationals who avoided trial for wrongdoings allegedly committed while residing in the United States.

January 22nd, 2019

After having been introduced on January 03, 2019, a bill from Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel has passed the house in a voice-vote. The bill pertains to sanctioning Iranian actors involved in Syria. Up next, complementary Senate legislation introduced by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) may be considered.  To read more about sanctions on Iran click here.

 

January 17th, 2019

Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA02) introduces legislation that would limit American security assistance to Saudi Arabia. This bill is similar to a bill introduced in the 115th Congress that ultimately did not gain traction. To read more about Congressional responses to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi click here. 

January 15, 2019

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16) introduces legislation related to Iranian sanctions. Read more about Iraq’s emerging post-ISIS government here.

Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC02) introduces legislation related to Saudi educational materials

January 08, 2019

January 03, 2019

The first Gulf-related legislation in the 116th Congress, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX10) introduced a bill to impose additional human rights sanctions on Iran. To read more about sanctions on Iran click here.

115th Congress (January 01, 2017- December 31, 2018)

December 19, 2018

Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ed Markey introduced “The No Nuclear Weapons for Saudi Arabia Act” that requires House and Senate approval for any nuclear technology agreement with KSA, and demands Riyadh to release details of Jamal Khashoggi‘s murder. Read more about Saudi nuclear program and nuclear proliferation in the Gulf region and Greater Middle East here.

December 13th, 2018

Moments after having passed SJRes54, the Senate in a voice-vote approved a measure formally placing blame on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for several perceived missteps. To read more about the efforts taken by Congress in response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi click here.

On December 13th, 2018 the House passed its annual ‘Farm Bill.’ The legislation is relevant to the Gulf insofar as a last-minute clause was added that will prevent the House from debating any bill invoking the War Powers Resolution in regards to Yemen during the 115th Congress. Read more about this clause here.

After being tabled in March 2018, the Senate reversed course and advanced a bill evoking the War Powers Resolution in order to curtail United States assistance in the ongoing War in Yemen. Read more about the status of Yemen negotiations here. The bill was passed by the Senate on December 13th, 2018 by a 56-41 margin.

December 12, 2018

A bill introduced by Rep. Ileana Ross-Lehtinen in April 2017 has been agreed to without objection in the House of Representatives. Read more about religious pluralism in the Gulf here.

December 11th, 2018

Upon approval in both chambers, President Trump signed into law H.R 390, in order to combat injustice against minorities in Iraq and Syria. To read more about religious pluralism in the Gulf click here.