Rep. Khanna vows new Yemen war powers resolution
SCOOP: Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tells Al-Monitor that he plans to re-introduce his war powers resolution ending US support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“I think it will pass within the next few weeks,” Khanna said, noting that he still has support from Democratic leadership.
The Senate passed a similar resolution 56-41 last year after Saudi Arabia’s assassination of Jamal Khashoggi galvanized enough Republicans to punish Riyadh. But House Republican leaders at the time forestalled a floor vote in the lower chamber. Nor did they act on a unanimous Senate resolution condemning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his alleged role in the murder.
Khanna believes that the votes are still there in the Senate to pass the bill this year. He also expressed confidence that he could get President Donald Trump to sign the resolution and pull US support despite the president's determination to preserve arms sales to Riyadh.
“He’s got an argument that he wants to withdraw from Afghanistan, withdraw from Syria,” said Khanna. "How can he say that we now want to intervene in the Saudi-Yemen war? He should be intellectually consistent.”
Khanna said that he would enlist the help of Trump ally Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who backs the resolution, to persuade the president. He also noted that the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, a staunch opponent of the resolution, could work in his favor.
- Bryant Harris