116th Congress (January 01, 2019 – Present)

February 14th, 2019

Similar to a resolution introduced in the House the previous day, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has called on the Senate to express that Saudi Arabia must release female activists currently imprisoned. To learn more about issues facing women in the Gulf – click here.

February 13th, 2019

After having been prevented from debating a similar bill in the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives has passed House Joint Resolution 37. Up next, complementary legislation will likely be considered by the United States Senate.

Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL21) introduces a piece of legislation regarding women’s activists detained in Saudi Arabia. To read more about women’s issues in the Gulf region, click here.

February 12th, 2019

Seemingly identical to legislation introduced in the 115th Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley has introduced legislation declaring the Senate’s view on US-Saudi nuclear cooperation. To read more about nuclearization in the Gulf region, click here.

February 7th, 2019

Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Menendez introduces legislation to reprimand Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, as well as for its role in the Yemen War. Read more about Congress’s potential coming efforts in the “United States” section of GIF’s 2019 Forecast.

February 5th, 2019

After having been introduced on January 08, 2019, the bill has passed the Senate.

January 30th, 2019

Update: The House iteration of the War Powers Resolution proceeded out of committee and was passed by the chamber on February 13th, 2019.

Restarting the previous Congress’ efforts to change US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, several members of Congress introduced legislation that would highly restrict American military involvement, including two that invoked the War Powers Resolution.

January 24th, 2019

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Ron Wyden (D) introduce legislation seeking to investigate Saudi nationals who avoided trial for wrongdoings allegedly committed while residing in the United States.

January 22nd, 2019

After having been introduced on January 03, 2019, a bill from Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel has passed the house in a voice-vote. The bill pertains to sanctioning Iranian actors involved in Syria. Up next, complementary Senate legislation introduced by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) may be considered.  To read more about sanctions on Iran click here.


January 17th, 2019

Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA02) introduces legislation that would limit American security assistance to Saudi Arabia. This bill is similar to a bill introduced in the 115th Congress that ultimately did not gain traction. To read more about Congressional responses to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi click here. 

January 15, 2019

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16) introduces legislation related to Iranian sanctions. Read more about Iraq’s emerging post-ISIS government here.

Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC02) introduces legislation related to Saudi educational materials

January 08, 2019

January 03, 2019

The first Gulf-related legislation in the 116th Congress, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX10) introduced a bill to impose additional human rights sanctions on Iran. To read more about sanctions on Iran click here.

115th Congress (January 01, 2017- December 31, 2018)

December 19, 2018

Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ed Markey introduced “The No Nuclear Weapons for Saudi Arabia Act” that requires House and Senate approval for any nuclear technology agreement with KSA, and demands Riyadh to release details of Jamal Khashoggi‘s murder. Read more about Saudi nuclear program and nuclear proliferation in the Gulf region and Greater Middle East here.

December 13th, 2018

Moments after having passed SJRes54, the Senate in a voice-vote approved a measure formally placing blame on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for several perceived missteps. To read more about the efforts taken by Congress in response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi click here.

On December 13th, 2018 the House passed its annual ‘Farm Bill.’ The legislation is relevant to the Gulf insofar as a last-minute clause was added that will prevent the House from debating any bill invoking the War Powers Resolution in regards to Yemen during the 115th Congress. Read more about this clause here.

After being tabled in March 2018, the Senate reversed course and advanced a bill evoking the War Powers Resolution in order to curtail United States assistance in the ongoing War in Yemen. Read more about the status of Yemen negotiations here. The bill was passed by the Senate on December 13th, 2018 by a 56-41 margin.

December 12, 2018

A bill introduced by Rep. Ileana Ross-Lehtinen in April 2017 has been agreed to without objection in the House of Representatives. Read more about religious pluralism in the Gulf here.

December 11th, 2018

Upon approval in both chambers, President Trump signed into law H.R 390, in order to combat injustice against minorities in Iraq and Syria. To read more about religious pluralism in the Gulf click here.