The GOP-majority Senate issued a rebuke to President Trump today, voting for a resolution to end support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, according to the Washington Post. The vote was 54 to 46, with all but seven Republicans voting against.
“We should not be associated with a bombing campaign that the U.N. tells us is likely a gross violation of human rights,” Sen. Chris Murphy said on the floor of the Senate today.
The UN says that civilians, including children, are facing most of the violence from Saudi-led, U.S.-backed attacks.
“In February alone, at least 53 children were killed and 92 maimed in 12 governorates,” they write.
The resolution will now be taken up by the House, where it’s likely to pass the Democrat-controlled chamber. The House passed a similar resolution condemning support for the war in February.
If this new resolution passes the House, it will be the first time that Congress has successfully invoked the War Power Act to end support for a U.S.-backed war.
It’s almost certain that President Trump will then veto the resolution, and highly unlikely that Congress will have enough votes to overcome that veto.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate, was the chief sponsor of the resolution. He said that its passage was about more than just Yemen—it’s also about Congress’ ability to decide when the U.S. goes to war.
“Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional authority by ending U.S. involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional,” Sanders said on the Senate floor.
The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was apparently another reason for Congress’ change of heart on supporting the kingdom’s latest violent adventure.
From the Post:
Lawmakers’ willingness to break with Saudi Arabia over Yemen was amplified after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul late last year, and intelligence strongly suggested that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, had ordered the operation or was at least aware of it.
Last year, the Senate voted unanimously to hold the crown prince responsible for Khashoggi’s slaying. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has backed sanctions against Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s killing, as well as a halt to weapons transfers, in comprehensive legislation that has yet to come up for a vote.
Many Republicans opposed the resolution, saying it would make ending the conflict more difficult.
“It is going to send a message to people that they don’t need to negotiate right now, that they are actually making gains,” Republican Sen. James E. Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on the Senate floor. “I would urge my colleagues to vote against this at this time and give peace a chance through the negotiations.”
Yes, give peace a chance... through supporting more bombing by Saudi Arabia.