Weapons may stop flowing to terrorist groups if a Congress-led ban on arms deals to Saudia Arabia comes into law.
Weapons may stop flowing to terrorist groups if a Congress-led ban on arms deals to Saudia Arabia comes into law. AP Photo - Alex Brandon

House votes to block Saudi arms sales

CONGRESS is heading for a showdown with President Donald Trump after the House voted to block his administration from selling weapons and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia.

The Democratic-led House on Wednesday passed the first of three resolutions of disapproval, 238-190, with votes on the others to immediately follow. Trump has actively courted an alliance with Riyadh and has pledged to veto the resolutions.

The Senate cleared the measures last month, although by margins well short of making them veto proof. Overturning a president's veto requires a two-thirds majority.

The arms package is worth an estimated $US8.1 billion and includes precision guided munitions, other bombs, ammunition, and aircraft maintenance support.

Opposition in Congress to closer US-Saudi ties escalated last year after agents of the kingdom killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.