Senate Passes War Powers Resolution to End Complicity in Yemen War

Geraldine Edwards
March 16, 2019

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chamber approved a historic curtailment of presidential war powers that directs Trump "to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen" within 30 days.

Doubling down on the position that the executive branch, despite what the US Constitution clearly says, has unilateral war-making powers, a new statement was issued by President Trump's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) objecting to the Senate's vote on a challenge to the Yemen War. "This resolution sends a awful message of US division and lack of resolve, and sets a bad precedent for using the War Powers Resolution to express political disagreements with a president".

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The resolution is a reminder that Congress has the legal ability to compel the removal of USA military forces, absent a formal declaration of war. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the resolution's author, told reporters before the vote.

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"We have been providing the bombs that the Saudi-led coalition is using, we have been refueling their planes before they drop those bombs, and we have been assisting with intelligence", Sanders said.

U.S. forces previously provided targeting support for coalition airstrikes and even mid-air refueling for coalition planes, until that practice was reportedly discontinued late a year ago.

A Saudi-led effort has targeted Yemen's Houthi rebels in an attempt to hold back Iran's expansion in the area.

It would also be another strong rebuke of President Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia, which has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi past year.

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In a Senate floor speech ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged his colleagues to oppose the resolution, which he said would limit US leverage to end the conflict and pressure to help Saudi pilots avoid civilian casualties.

"Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional power by ending U.S. involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional", Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a presidential candidature for the 2020 elections, said on the Senate floor.

Republicans and Democrats alike have bristled over the White House's apparent embrace of the kingdom and its leadership.

Top Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn voted against the resolution. Indeed, a lead sponsor of Wednesday's Senate bill was Sen. The Senate unanimously agreed to retain similar language today by voice vote with an amendment from Sen.

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The Senate resolution, an unprecedented attempt to curtail presidential powers, sought to end the United States military involvement in the conflict within 30 days.

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