Congress gears up for new Yemen war vote
A bipartisan group of lawmakers this week re-introduced a bill that would force the Donald Trump administration to end support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is introducing the resolution in the upper chamber while Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., will sponsor the same bill in the House.
“We will not continue to have our military posture dictated by a despotic, murderous regime in Saudi Arabia, a regime which does not respect democracy, a regime which does not respect human rights, a regime whose leader was involved in the horrific murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” Sanders said at a press conference today.
Outraged over the Khashoggi murder and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the Senate voted for the Sanders resolution 56-41 in December. However, Republican leadership successfully forestalled Khanna from forcing a similar vote in the House.
But with Democrats now in control of the House and the support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the bill’s supporters fully expect it to pass both chambers. That would mark the first time Congress has successfully used the 19773 War Powers Act to try to end a foreign military intervention.
President Trump is likely to veto the resolution and has doubled down on the US-Saudi military relationship even after Khashoggi’s murder. Nonetheless, the lawmakers argue that the Senate’s vote last month was a key factor in the United Nations’ ability to bring the Saudis and Houthis to the table and agree on a tenuous cease-fire in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a vital conduit for humanitarian aid.
“Currently that cease-fire is in danger of breaking down, so it is essential that the House and Senate act – and act very soon,” Sanders said.
- Bryant Harris