For too long, the United States has been aiding Saudi Arabia in their war against Yemen, which has caused a major humanitarian crisis. Now the Senate has once again voted to end that partnership in a rebuke of President Donald Trump.
Trump’s all-too-close relationship with the Saudis came to a head late last year after the brutal torture and murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling into question why our nation should continue to support a barbaric nation that kills members of the press. Khashoggi had been a strong critic of the Saudi attack against Yemen and the famine and suffering the war has caused.
Calls to end American involvement grew louder and the Senate finally passed a resolution to end it, but former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) killed the bill.
But now Democrats are in charge of the House, and the Senate just passed the resolution for a second time 54 to 46.
According to CNN:
Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the US shouldn’t be involved in the war without explicit permission from Congress. Opponents argued the US does not have “boots on the ground” and is offering noncombat technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, an ally.
Several supporters made clear their votes were also aimed at expressing their frustrations with Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been implicated in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Prior to the vote, bill sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) released a statement explaining its importance.
“This war is both a humanitarian and a strategic disaster, and Congress has the opportunity to end it,” he said. “As a result of the Saudi-led intervention, Yemen is now experiencing the worst humanitarian disaster in the world. According to the United Nations, Yemen is at risk of the most severe famine in more than 100 years, with some 14 million people facing starvation. An estimated 85,000 children have already starved to death over the last several years, and millions more face death if the war continues. Beyond the humanitarian crisis, this war has been a disaster for our national security and the security of the region.”
Once the House passes the resolution it would go to the White House, and Trump is expected to veto it, which would be the first veto of his presidency. To override the veto, two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote for it, which means supporters of the resolution will have to convince more Republicans to join them. Whether Republicans have the spine to do so remains to be seen.
But make no mistake, this is a major rebuke of Trump and is, perhaps, just the first of other rebukes to come since a resolution condemning his national emergency declaration is also coming up for a vote and is expected to pass.
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