The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a resolution that would end usa involvement in the Saudi-led coalition's brutal war in Yemen, countering President Donald Trump's support for the controversial conflict.
The 54-to-46 vote marks the second time in recent months that the Senate has rejected the United States' continued participation in Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, waged in the name of holding back Iran's expansion in the region. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the resolution's chief sponsor, said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the USA shouldn't be involved in the war without explicit permission from Congress. Opponents argued the u.s. does not have "boots on the ground" and is offering noncombat technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, an ally. Its backers have argued that United States involvement in the conflict violates the constitutional requirement that Congress alone can authorize participation in war. But lawmakers insist the resolution would also require Trump to end intelligence sharing and targeting support for the Saudis by defining those activities as "hostilities" under the War Powers Act. The resolution requires the president to withdraw any U-S troops in or affecting Yemen within 30 days. "The Senate's vote to end the US role in Yemen is also a vote to re-democratize our nation's foreign policy". It also put Congress on a collision course with Trump, who has already threatened to veto the resolution. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
The Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen are the world's worst humanitarian crisis with approximately 14 million people at risk.
If the resolution passes both chambers of Congress, it would mark the first time that Congress has successfully invoked the War Powers Resolution to end US engagement in a conflict.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, accompanied by Sen.
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"Most of the advocacy around this war in the USA has focused on what we want the U.S.to stop doing - refuelling, selling arms, blocking Security Council actions, etc. ..."
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.
Now, the Trump administration argues that its logistics support falls short of the hostility threshold the law envisions.
The Senate passed a similar resolution a year ago in the wake of the Khashoggi murder, but it did not receive a vote in the GOP-led House.
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.