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In rebuke to Trump, Congress votes to end U.S. military aid in Yemen

Published: Thursday, April 04, 2019 @ 12:15 PM

Ignoring a veto threat, the House on Thursday voted 247-175 to send a resolution to President Donald Trump which would block further U.S. military action to help Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen, as 16 Republicans broke ranks to join Democrats in approving a plan to invoke the War Powers Act to halt American military aid.

"This is the first time in the history of this nation that a War Powers Resolution has passed the House and Senate and made it to the President’s desk," said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), as the House joined the Senate in a foreign policy rebuke to President Trump.

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"This resolution represents bipartisan, bicameral consensus that it is our Constitutional duty, as a co-equal branch of government, to intervene when we disapprove of the Administration's foreign policy, particularly when military action is pursued without Congressional consent," said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).

In March, the Senate voted 54-46 to end any Pentagon assistance, as seven GOP Senators opposed the President.

But like a rebuke over an emergency declaration to shift money into a border wall, if the President vetoes this Yemen resolution, Congress does not appear to have the votes to override that rejection.

“So many lives have been lost in this humanitarian crisis,” said Rep. David Trone (D-MD).  “We must put an end to this action that was unauthorized by Congress.”

“Today we took a clear stand against war and famine and for Congress’ war powers by voting to end our complicity in the war in Yemen,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“It's an unauthorized war—and it's causing utter devastation for millions of innocent people,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“Any U.S. involvement in Yemen must be debated transparently, and Congress will continue to assert its oversight role of the administration on Yemen,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Earlier this week, U.S. military officials said there had been eight air strikes conducted in Yemen in 2019, targeting fighters linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

On Monday, the White House made clear the legislative effort would be vetoed.

“The premise of the joint resolution is flawed,” the White House wrote in its veto threat.

“If S.J. Res. 7 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend he veto the joint resolution,” in what would be Mr. Trump's second veto.

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