Defying Trump, Senate votes to end USA support for Yemen war

Blanche Robertson
March 16, 2019

The bipartisan vote was 54 to 46 and considered to be a rebuke to US President Donald Trump's support to Saudi Arabia and its leader despite recent tensions.

The Senate has passed "war powers" legislation ordering the president to cease and desist his cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the destruction of Yemen.

Romney said while he has concerns about Saudi Arabia's recent behavior, particularly the murder of Khashoggi, ending support would undermine US allies and security interests in the region by emboldening Iran, hampering counterterrorism efforts, and potentially worsening the humanitarian crisis. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the resolution's author, told reporters before the vote.

The passage of the measure, which was co-sponsored Sen.

In addition to putting an end to America's role in the slaughter of Yemeni civilians, supporters said the resolution also reasserts Congress' constitutional authority over war. The Democratic Senators were joined by six Republican Senators.

His legislation calls for an end to a USA role in hostilities in Yemen, a nation of almost 30 million people at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, where fighting between the Saudi-backed government and the Houthi rebel movement, backed by Iran, has been raging for four years.

"We have been providing the bombs that the Saudi-led coalition is using, we have been refueling their planes before they drop those bombs, and we have been assisting with intelligence", Sanders said.

The other Republicans to vote aye were Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Todd Young of Indiana. Save the Children, a London-based human rights organization, estimated in a report last Novemberthat 85,000 Yemenis under the age of five have starved to death since the Saudi-led coalition began bombing the country.

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Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of CT hailed the outcome. It is now expected to be voted on in the US House of Representatives.

"This is historic. For the first time in 45 years, Congress is one step closer to withdrawing US forces from an unauthorized war", Sen. Trump has vowed to veto the resolution if it passed through the Democrat-led House.

The war in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 14 million people at risk of starvation.

Opponents argued that the War Powers Resolution does not apply because the U.S.is not directly involved in combat in Yemen.

Opponents of the resolution warned Wednesday that it was "fundamentally flawed" and would compromise efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement to the Yemen conflict by making the US position appear fractured.

Top Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn voted against the resolution.

It now goes to the House, which approved its own similar measure this year, only to have the process stall over a procedural issue.

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