Senate's Yemen war measure rebukes Trump, rewards Murphy

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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday dealt a stinging bipartisan rebuke to Donald Trump's foreign policy and his alliance with Riyadh, voting to end support for the bloody Saudi-led war effort 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 USA intelligence agencies have pinned on Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia said that U.S. assistance was no longer needed.

"Congressional authority over war was created to avoid the type of situation that's been unfolding in Yemen, where unauthorized USA military support began without public debate or scrutiny", Martin said.

Seven Republicans broke with Trump to support the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sens.

No presidential military commitment has ever been ended by vote of Congress under the War Powers Resolution.

Many lawmakers have taken issue with the number of civilian deaths in Yemen's conflict and have been calling for an end of USA military support ever since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last October. Mike Lee, R-Utah, marks the first time lawmakers have invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict.

"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.

The World Health Organization says about 10,000 people have been killed in the war between forces loyal to the Yemeni government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

"Ending U.S. support will put even more pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to change their tactics and finally negotiate an end to the war", Martin concluded.

"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".

The vote on the resolution appears to be one of several fault lines between Republicans and President Donald Trump on national security to emerge in recent weeks.

"The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a risky and irresponsible foreign policy", Mr. Sanders said.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 54-46, condemns the ongoing conflict in Yemen, in which the United States provides intelligence and sells arms and ammunition to fighters from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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 a year ago.

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

This decisive vote will end "the American facilitation of the Yemen war and the world's largest humanitarian crises".

It is the second time the Senate has approved a measure that would curb US military involvement in Yemen.

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.

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