The United States Senate has voted to end support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s war in Yemen. Now as the legislation goes to the House, this could make a major statement to President Trump about his close relationship with Saudi Arabia.
This legislation has received bipartisan support from Congress, and it seems like there are a number of lawmakers who are concerned about the devastating impact that the war in Yemen has had on millions of civilians who are facing starvation, diseases and extreme poverty. Then there are some who have supported this resolution because they see it as a rebuke to the Trump Administration.
Now, Trump has promised to veto this legislation, and in a statement, the White House claimed the resolution undermines the fight against extremism. If the House does pass the legislation, it would be the first time Congress has invoked the War Powers Act to stop American military involvement in a foreign conflict.
We saw similar legislation that was passed by the Senate at the end of 2018, in the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Lawmakers seemed to be outraged by Trump’s soft response to Saudi Arabia, and although it was Khashoggi’s murder that caused Congress to pay attention—instead of the massive ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the Senate managed to pass the resolution.
But it was blocked by the House after representatives refused to vote on the resolution until 2019. Then the House introduced its own version of the bill at the beginning of this year, but then Republican members added language that had nothing to do with support for the war in Yemen, and the bill failed for procedural reason.
Now, we’re looking at a third version of the bill, which is identical to the first, and the hope it is that it will finally pass both the House and the Senate for the first time. However, despite receiving bipartisan support, the neoconservative Republicans in Congress seem to be the loudest opponents against this legislation. It is important to note that Congress never passed legislation to take part in the Saudi-led war in Yemen—so the lawmakers who do oppose this resolution are showing their support for a war that they never approved in the first place.