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Senate Demands Trump End US Support for War in Yemen

Senate Demands Trump End US Support for War in Yemen

The US Senate has offered a strong bipartisan rebuke to President Donald Trump by voting to end the country's involvement in the Saudi Arabia-led proxy war in Yemen.

The Yemen War Powers resolution also serves as a vehicle to pressure Trump to condemn the Saudi government over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which United States intelligence agencies have pinned on Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Activists take part in a rally in front of the White House in Washington, DC, to protest against Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen, on April 13, 2017. Its backers have argued that United States involvement in the conflict violates the constitutional requirement that Congress alone can authorize participation in war. Bernard Sanders, a potential Trump 2020 opponent, who led the push for the move, flexing the War Powers Resolution. 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.

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.

"Our focus should be on ending the war in Yemen responsibly", he said.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, accompanied by Sen.

An earlier version of the resolution passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives but was rejected by the Senate; the resolution must now pass the House again before it is sent to the White House, where Trump has promised to veto it.

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

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"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".

"This Senate vote moves us one step closer to ending USA support for the catastrophic war in Yemen, a war that makes America complicit in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world", Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said in astatement.

"The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with an irresponsible foreign policy", said Sanders, speaking ahead of the vote. The Yemen resolution "seeks to override the President's determination as Commander in Chief", the statement said, and "would harm bilateral relationships in the region".

"The Senate's vote to end the USA role in Yemen is also a vote to re-democratize our nation's foreign policy".

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.

A similar measure was introduced in the US House in February, however, as The Hill reports, it "ran into a procedural roadblock" when it got to the US Senate, and was not able to be voted on in a manner that would allow it to pass with a simple majority vote, which in the Senate requires a total of 51 yeas.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said before the vote that the resolution "will be seen as a message to the Saudis that they need to clean up their act".