Senate rejects bid to block American arms sale to Bahrain

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has blocked legislation to stop an estimated $300 million in arms sales to Bahrain. Lawmakers rejected a call by Republican Sen. Rand Paul to send a message that the U.S. is "done with the war in Yemen."

Bahrain is a member of the Saudi-led coalition at war with Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen since March 2015.

The vote against Paul's resolution disapproving of the arms sale was 77-21.

The Kentucky Republican says millions in Yemen are at risk of starvation. He calls the war counterproductive to the long-term interests of the U.S. because it worsens chaos in the Mideast and potentially strengthens terrorist groups.

But opponents said Bahrain is a critical ally and home to a naval base the U.S. needs to protect its interests in the region.