Senate votes to end United States support of Saudi-led Yemen war

  • Senate votes to end United States support of Saudi-led Yemen war

Senate votes to end United States support of Saudi-led Yemen war

The US Senate on Wednesday voted to pass a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

A Yemeni soldier is pictured near a poster portraying Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Yemen's President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi outside a hospital renovated by Saudi Arabia in Aden, Yemen December 13, 2018.

He added that a vote in favor would "begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional authority by ending United States involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is unconstitutional".

A small group of Republicans were willing to cross party lines to rebuke Trump over his support for a conflict the United Nations has declared a humanitarian disaster, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians and left half the population of Yemen on the brink of starvation.

"This Senate vote moves us one step closer to ending USA support for the catastrophic war in Yemen, a war that makes America complicit in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world", Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said in a statement.

Lee was among seven Republicans who joined all members of the Democratic Caucus in backing the bill.

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.

The vote puts Congress on a collision course with Trump, who has already threatened to veto the resolution, which the White House says raises "serious constitutional concerns".

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Democrats and Republicans reintroduced the resolution two weeks ago as a way to send a strong message to Riyadh - and to Trump - about the humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

Many lawmakers have taken issue with the number of civilian deaths in Yemen's conflict and have been calling for an end of U.S. military support ever since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last October.

President Trump has described Saudi Arabia as a vital ally and resisted calls for sanctions against the kingdom's leadership. He has also touted Saudi purchases of USA defense equipment as a generator of American jobs. 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. "We should instead signal our resolve that the committed to playing an important role in pushing for a sustainable political settlement in Yemen".

"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. He also said the resolution "sets a bad precedent" because the United States is not directly involved in Yemen.

A similar measure was introduced in the US House in February, however, as The Hill reports, it "ran into a procedural roadblock" when it got to the US Senate, and was not able to be voted on in a manner that would allow it to pass with a simple majority vote, which in the Senate requires a total of 51 yeas.