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Chuck Schumer is working to block Trump's Saudi arms deal — but supported similar deal under Obama

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that he will support a measure to reject a part of President Donald Trump's recent arms deal with Saudi Arabia, but he supported a similar arms deal last year agreed to by the Obama administration. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday his intention to support a Senate motion to block a part of President Donald Trump’s recent arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which was signed during Trump’s visit to the Islamic Republic last month.

But Schumer, one of Trump’s most outspoken critics within the government, took a remarkably different approach to a nearly identical motion last year when a small group of senators attempted to block a Saudi arms deal approved by the administration of then-President Barack Obama.

In a statement Monday, Schumer expressed concerns that sending the Saudi’s more than $500 million worth of precision-guided munitions will worsen the humanitarian crisis in the region.

"I will support Sen.  [Chris] Murphy’s resolution of disapproval. The human rights and humanitarian concerns have been well documented and are important,” Schumer told the Huffington Post.

“Of equal concern to me is that the Saudi government continues to aid and abet terrorism via its relationship with Wahhabism and the funding of schools that spread extremist propaganda throughout the world,” he explained.

The bipartisan effort to block Trump’s arms deal is led by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.).

The group believes the arms deal will exacerbate many problems in the Middle East, such as the civil war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is supporting the ousted government. They believe more American weapons in the conflict could deepen the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.

It isn't the first time the group of senators have tried to block a Saudi arms deal.

Last year, as CNN reported, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected an effort to block a $1.15 billion Saudi arms deal approved by the Obama administration.

At the time, Schumer voted against rejecting Obama's deal.

But despite the humanitarian concerns being the same, there is no initial reason to explain Schumer's sudden change of heart. TheBlaze has reached out to the senator's office for comment.

Still, even with Schumer's support, the effort to block Trump's deal with the Saudis is expected to fail. However, according to Politico, the effort is expected to receive support from a majority of Democrats and a handful of Republicans.

The Senate is expected to vote on the deal on Thursday.

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