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Congress struggles to sanction Saudis for Khashoggi murder

Faced with opposition from the White House and Senate Republican leadership, Congress is struggling to pass Saudi sanctions legislation.
Placards can be seen outside the embassy as people protest against the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London, Britain, October 26 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson - RC1CC0BA7F80

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13-9 today to advance legislation intended to sanction Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials complicit in last year’s assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And although Democrats gained enough Republican support to advance the bill, it may be a pyrrhic victory.

President Donald Trump has resisted bipartisan calls to punish Prince Mohammed for his alleged role in Khashoggi’s murder, going so far as to avoid implementing a legally mandated probe into the crown prince’s role in the assassination. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is unlikely to allow a floor vote on legislation that the president would ultimately veto.

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