Senate clears Yemen War Powers Resolution in rebuke to Trump

Lamar Ellis
March 16, 2019

The US Senate has offered a strong bipartisan rebuke to President Donald Trump by voting to end the country's involvement in the Saudi Arabia-led proxy war in Yemen.

The United States Senate has on Wednesday held a vote session which resulted in 54-46 to block the intervention of the United States military in the Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen.

The Yemen War Powers resolution also serves as a vehicle to pressure Trump to condemn the Saudi government over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which USA intelligence agencies have pinned on Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)-recently signed a separate pledge to "end the forever war".

Sen. Mitt Romney voted against the resolution.

Trump's support for Saudi Arabia has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of US -based activist and writer Jamal Khashoggi a year ago.

The resolution states that only Congress has the authority to declare war and that Congress has not declared war against the Houthis in the Republic of Yemen.

Now with Democrats in control, that chamber is likely to take up and pass the measure. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., right, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, on a reintroduction of a resolution to end USA support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

"I would urge my colleagues to vote against this at this time and give peace a chance through the negotiations", said Sen.

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It is the second time the Senate has approved a measure that would curb US military involvement in Yemen.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of CT hailed the outcome.

The Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen are the world's worst humanitarian crisis with approximately 14 million people at risk. Next, it will move to the Democratic-controlled House, where it is expected to pass.

The resolution must still be taken up in the House, where members passed a almost identical resolution to end usa participation in the Yemen war earlier this year.

"This is historic. For the first time in 45 years, Congress is one step closer to withdrawing US forces from an unauthorized war", Sen.

The bipartisan vote Wednesday is another strong rebuke of President Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia, which has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi previous year.

Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., defended USA involvement, describing it as "intelligence support that helps construct no strike lists that enable humanitarian efforts and protect humanitarian aid workers", and "not the tip of the spear".

Largely overlooked throughout this whole process is that these votes show how USA foreign policy, so often a byproduct of Washington lobbyists and other powerful special interests, can be democratized.

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