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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, July 18, 2019 1:00 am

Politics

Lawmakers OK halt of arms sales to Saudis

News services

WASHINGTON – The House joined the Senate in voting to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a rejection of President Donald Trump's decision to break congressional holds on the sales.

The chamber passed three measures that are part of a package of 22 resolutions to end the emergency declaration that the Trump administration used to push through $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. All three of the resolutions received some Republican support, but not enough to override a promised veto by Trump.

Members of both parties criticized Trump's use of the emergency declaration.

Paul stalls bill to aid 9/11 victims

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Wednesday blocked fast-track approval of a bipartisan bill that would ensure a victims' compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money.

Paul objected to a request by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to approve the bill by unanimous consent. He questioned the bill's 70-year time frame and said any new spending should be offset by corresponding cuts.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the 9/11 bill would result in about $10.2 billion in additional compensation payments over 10 years. The legislation has 74 Senate co-sponsors and easily passed the House last week.

Trump, Epstein in '92 party video

Video footage unearthed by NBC News shows Donald Trump and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein chatting at a party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in 1992.

NBC said the video posted Wednesday was recorded as part of a profile of Trump, who was newly divorced at the time.

It shows the future president surrounded by young women, whom NBC identifies as cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills.

Later in the video, Epstein arrives at Trump's Florida estate, and the two men are seen talking and gesturing at the women on the dance floor.

Epstein is currently in jail, facing federal charges in New York of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s. He has pleaded not guilty.

Trump has acknowledged that he knew Epstein but said he “wasn't a fan.”

MAGA rally:'Send her back!'

President Trump held a campaign rally Wednesday night where the crowd responded to his attacks on a Somali-born Muslim congresswoman with chants of “send her back! send her back!”

Trump's “Make America Great Again” rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday night was a culmination of a multiday Twitter barrage, which began Sunday with Trump telling four Democratic minority lawmakers they should “go back” to their countries.

“These congresswomen are helping the rise of a militant, hard left,” Trump said. “They never have anything good to say, which is why I say, 'if they don't like it, let them leave.' ... They don't love our country and in some cases I think they hate our country.” The crowd chanted “leave.”

Trump reserved most of his wrath for Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who is the only one of the four women who was born abroad.