The United States will remain involved in Yemen after a Senate attempt to override President Trump’s veto of legislation demanding an end to US involvement in the country failed Thursday.
Sens. Mike Lee and Bernie Sanders co-sponsored a resolution demanding that the U.S. withdraw its support for foreign military operations in Yemen. The resolution passed through both chambers of Congress in early 2019, only to be vetoed by President Donald Trump. Senators attempting to override that veto Thursday fell more than 20 votes short, the Washington Post reported.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said when he vetoed the resolution.
The bad news today: we were unable today to override Trump’s veto regarding U.S. intervention in this horrific war in Yemen. The good news: for the first time in 45 years, Congress used the War Powers Act to reassert its constitutional responsibility over the use of armed forces.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 2, 2019
The Senate voted 53-45 in favor of Trump’s veto, falling 22 votes short of the 67 required to overturn a presidential veto.
“Involvement in Yemen is far from being in the best interests of the United States. …Every day it only becomes clearer and clearer that Saudi Arabia is not an ally that deserves our unwavering, unflinching, unquestionable support in military intervention,” Sen. Lee said.
Lee and Sanders’ push came after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in 2018. Khashoggi lived in the U.S. and had been published in the Washington Post, leading many to argue the U.S. had a responsibility to punish the Saudis in some form.
President Trump yielded to these pressures and halted air-refueling missions for Saudi’s military coalition in Yemen as well as enforcing sanctions against several Saudi officials. Proponents of the Senate resolution argued these measures weren’t enough, however.
“So long as the United States participates in the military campaign with the Saudis, while not offering any meaningful pressure to get to a political settlement, we are complicit in those doubts. A quarter million people are going to die in the next several months inside Yemen from starvation and disease and malnutrition due to a military campaign that we are a part of,” Democrat Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy said.
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