Senate Passes War Powers Resolution to End Complicity in Yemen War

Frederick Owens
March 15, 2019

The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a resolution that would end usa involvement in the Saudi-led coalition's brutal war in Yemen, countering President Donald Trump's support for the controversial conflict.

The resolution cites the War Powers Act of 1973 and argues that the US military involvement in assisting the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen falls under this act.

Activists take part in a rally in front of the White House in Washington, DC, to protest against Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen, on April 13, 2017.

"Congressional authority over war was created to avoid the type of situation that's been unfolding in Yemen, where unauthorized US military support began without public debate or scrutiny", Martin said.

It's expected to be vetoed by Trump. Should it manage to successfully pass through both the Senate and the House, it would be the first time that lawmakers have tapped on the act to cease U.S. military involvement in a foreign conflict. The Trump administration declined to certify last month that the Saudis were undertaking efforts to reduce civilian casualties despite a congressional mandate do so as a condition for resuming United States assistance.

McConnell argued the Yemen resolution "will not enhance America's diplomatic leverage" and will make it more hard for the U.S.to help end the conflict in Yemen and minimize civilian casualties.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, accompanied by Sen.

"We should not use this specific vote on a specific policy decision as some proxy for all the Senate's broad feelings about foreign affairs".

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Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Chris Murphy led the fight to pass the resolution, in the first time Congress has tried to block a president on war.

The Senate vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans defying the president and aligning with Democrats.

A Saudi-led effort has targeted Yemen's Houthi rebels in an attempt to hold back Iran's expansion in the area.

"The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with an irresponsible foreign policy", Sanders said on Wednesday from the Senate floor.

"Because the president has directed United States forces to support the Saudi-led coalition under his constitutional powers, the joint resolution would raise serious constitutional concerns to the extent that it seeks to override the president's determination as commander in chief", the White House said in a statement this week.

Lawmakers from both parties are not only repulsed by the bloodshed in Yemen, they are also upset over Trump's tepid response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

Romney said the USA now provides limited support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, including intelligence-sharing and advice on compliance with the laws of war. "We should instead signal our resolve that the U.S.is committed to playing an important role in pushing for a sustainable political settlement in Yemen". It now goes to the House, where a similar measure stalled earlier this year.

"Remember, we're only getting a couple of Republicans and they're voting with us as a matter of conscience", said Sen.

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