The Senate will vote on a resolution that would signal its "disapproval" of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday.
McConnell said he won't support the measure but is going to bring it to the floor.
The GOP sponsor is McConnell's fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Rand Paul, an important state ally. Paul authored the resolution with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
"The joint resolution of disapproval allows ... Congress to force a vote on blocking the Saudi arms sale of Abrams tanks and associated major defense articles," Paul said in a statement.
The sale, worth $1.5 billion, was announced by the Pentagon in August, and follows increasing skittishness from those in Congress about the state of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia. Murphy and others fear U.S. weapons are being used to aid a group that has Iran's backing, and also disapprove of Saudi Arabia's bombing of civilians in Yemen.
"I would absolutely argue that we should be sending messages to the Saudis that our support for them is conditional," Murphy said Monday at the Center for the National Interest, where he appeared with Paul. "I do think it's time to question whether this alliance is as clear and as solid as many of us may have been told that it was."
McConnell disagrees with the resolution, despite allowing it onto the Senate floor.
"I intend to aggressively oppose the effort to disapprove the arms sale to the Saudis," McConnell said. "The Saudis have in many, many ways been good allies of the United States over the years. They, as we all know, were extremely unhappy with the Iran deal.
"I think it's important to the United States to maintain as good a relationship with Saudi Arabia as possible, and I hope we'll defeat the resolution of disapproval of the arms sale."