The US is currently providing support to a Saudi-led coalition aligned with the Yemen government that’s battling Shiite Houthi forces aligned with Iran, including supplying fuel and explosives for military aircraft. The Saudi-led blockade of parts of the country has caused widespread famine; an estimated 85,000 children under the age of five have starved to death in Yemen since Saudi Arabia’s air war began. Tens of thousands more Yemenis have been killed by Saudi-led air strikes.

The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi catalyzed talk of withdrawing support from the kingdom. After Saudi agents murdered Khashoggi in an Istanbul consulate, the CIA reportedly concluded “with high confidence” that the murder had been ordered by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Senate vote today came just after Pompeo and defense secretary James Mattis told a closed-door session of the Senate that they endorsed continuing the US-Saudi relationship. There is “no direct reporting” connecting Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Mattis and Pompeo said. Senators were frustrated, however, by the fact that CIA head Gina Haspel did not brief them.

“If that briefing is not given soon, it’s going to be hard for me to vote for any spending bill,” said Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who has otherwise been a vociferous defender of the White House.

Trump has stated unequivocally that he doesn’t believe his own intelligence agencies, and that his priority is to maintain the US’s financial ties to Saudi Arabia.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.