US Senate approves resolution to end military involvement in Yemen

Saul Bowman
March 16, 2019

The US Senate on Wednesday voted to pass a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Sen. Mitt Romney voted against the resolution. They were: Lee, Susan Collins of Maine, Steve Daines of Montana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

"In reality, America is the one ... selling weapons, and providing support" to the coalition, top Houthi negotiator and spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam told The Associated Press.

The resolution states that only Congress has the authority to declare war and that Congress has not declared war against the Houthis in the Republic of Yemen.

If the resolution is passed, it could be the first instance of Donald Trump issuing his tenure's first veto.

The Senate resolution, an unprecedented attempt to curtail presidential powers, seeks to end U.S. military involvement in the conflict within 30 days.

"By defining "hostilities" to include defense cooperation such as aerial refueling", the statement said, the Yemen resolution could also "establish bad precedent for future legislation".

Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the United States 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.

The resolution is but the latest bipartisan rebuke of Saudi Arabia over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We should not use this specific vote on a specific policy decision as some proxy for all the Senate's broad feelings about foreign affairs".

"We should not be associated with a bombing campaign that the United Nations tells us is likely a gross violation of human rights", Murphy said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

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

Either way, USA support for the Saudi/UAE war in Yemen will end, and changes are coming to the way in which US foreign policy is debated, enacted, and conducted.

"Peace envoys are telling us they want deeper USA engagement in this situation", Risch said in a statement following the vote. Will there be political fallout for a president failing to accede to the will of Congress on matters of war and peace? But U.S. withdrawal is only a matter of time-that is, a matter of Trump's time in office.

The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution to reverse Trump's emergency declaration on border security issue with Mexico on Thursday, which is already passed by the House.

"I voted against this resolution because I am concerned it would set a precedent that would negatively impact our security partnerships around the world that rely on similar USA support", he said in a statement.

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