The House voted on Wednesday to end American military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, a defiant and rare move to curtail presidential war powers that underscored anger with President Trump’s unflagging support for Saudi Arabia even after the killing of a Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.
The 248-177 vote, condemning a nearly four-year conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and inflicted a devastating famine, will pressure the Republican-controlled Senate to respond. Eighteen Republicans voted with the Democtatic majority. Congress’s upper chamber in December passed a parallel resolution, 56 to 41, in a striking rebuke to the president and his administration’s defense of the kingdom. But that measure died with the last Congress after the House Republican leadership blocked a vote.
Dozens of Democrats, however, softened the blow when they defected to a Republican amendment to allow intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia to continue when “appropriate in the national security interest of the United States.”
Senate passage of the Yemen resolution could prompt Mr. Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency, and it would come after Republicans have registered their unhappiness over other foreign policy issues, such as the president’s plan to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan and his threats to pull the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced new sanctions on Moscow that would require the secretary of state to submit a determination of “whether the Russian Federation meets the criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.” [Continue reading…]