Senate rebukes Trump on Saudi, backs war powers resolution

Senate rebukes Trump on Saudi, backs war powers resolution

Senate rebukes Trump on Saudi, backs war powers resolution

The US Republican-led Senate has approved a bill to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen. The resolution requires the president to withdraw any USA troops in or affecting Yemen within 30 days.

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

However, the White House has signaled the president's intention to veto the resolution.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Danny Burch, a former U.S. hostage in Yemen, during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 6, 2019.

The caucus initially emphasized that the resolution would end United States midair refueling for Saudi coalition warplanes, which the Donald Trump administration ended previous year shortly after Khashoggi's murder. Mike Lee, R-Utah, marks the first time lawmakers have invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict.

"We should think twice about undermining those very partners whose cooperation we need for our own security", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Chris Murphy led the fight to pass the resolution, in the first time Congress has tried to block a president on war.

Some also contended that stopping US support would help Iran, and potentially prolong the conflict by ending Washington's ability to influence Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a partner in the conflict, to pursue a sustainable political settlement.

Trump's support for Saudi Arabia has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of US -based journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago.

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"The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a risky and irresponsible foreign policy", Mr. Sanders said.

"Peace envoys are telling us they want deeper USA engagement in this situation", Risch said in a statement following the vote.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 54-46, condemns the ongoing conflict in Yemen, in which the United States provides intelligence and sells arms and ammunition to fighters from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Senate is poised to vote Wednesday on ending USA support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen, legislation the White House has threatened to veto.

The resolution is a reminder that Congress has the legal ability to compel the removal of USA military forces, absent a formal declaration of war.

A similar resolution to end support for the Yemen war passed the Senate in December, but it was not taken up by the then Republican-controlled House.

The seven Republicans who backed Wednesday's vote were Sens.

"Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional power by ending USA involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional", Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020 and is a sponsor of the measure, said on the Senate floor.

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