Senate votes to end U.S. support for Saudi forces in Yemen

Senate votes to end U.S. support for Saudi forces in Yemen

The Senate voted on Wednesday to end USA support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., calling upon the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which states that if US troops are involved in "hostilities" in other nations "without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the president if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution". "We need cooperation from Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to defeat these terrorists". The war powers resolution seeks to end any USA military involvement in the conflict, including providing targeting support for Saudi air strikes, without authorization from Congress.

It's expected to be vetoed by Trump. In an attempt to "halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict", this is the first time the decade-old War Powers Resolution was invoked. Now, the USA provides logistics intelligence support, which officials say chiefly helps limit civilian casualties.

McConnell argued that the Yemen resolution would "not enhance America's diplomatic leverage" and would make it more hard for the U.S.to help end the conflict in Yemen and minimize civilian casualties.

Republican Senator Mike Lee concurred, saying Saudi Arabia "is not an ally that deserves our support or our military intervention".

Overcoming a veto would require two-thirds majorities in both the Senate and House, more votes than it has garnered so far.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition helping Yemen fight Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Romney said while he has concerns about Saudi Arabia's recent behavior, particularly the murder of Khashoggi, ending support would undermine US allies and security interests in the region by emboldening Iran, hampering counterterrorism efforts, and potentially worsening the humanitarian crisis.

The Trump administration also said it would "establish bad precedent for future legislation by defining "hostilities" to include defence co-operation such as aerial refuelling for the purposes of this legislation".

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"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.

"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.

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.

"As a legal matter, I do not believe that American military forces are engaged in hostilities in Yemen", House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a statement upon announcing support for the resolution previous year.

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

The resolution passed by 54 votes to 46 and called to "direct the removal of US Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorised by Congress". It now goes to the House, where a similar measure stalled earlier this year.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also voted for the resolution.

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