House Backs Ending US Support for Saudis in Yemen War
By VOA News February 13, 2019
The Democrat-controlled House rebuked President Donald Trump Wednesday and voted to cut off U.S. military assistance to the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen.
The vote was 248 to 177 and was one of the only times the House has ever used the War Powers Act.
The measure now goes to the Senate, which passed a similar measure before the 2018 midterm elections, setting up a possible showdown with the White House.
The United States has been providing mainly intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The nearly 5-year-long war has killed thousands of civilians, and has made an already dire humanitarian crisis in one of the world's poorest nation even worse.
Saudi-led airstrikes aimed at the rebels have obliterated entire neighborhoods, destroying schools and hospitals.
U.S. lawmakers from both parties are not only disgusted by the carnage in Yemen, many are also angry over Trump's tepid reaction to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
"This is their (Congress) opportunity to send a message to the Saudis that their behavior on Khashoggi and their flagrant disregard of human rights is not consistent with the American way of doing business and not in line with American values," Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California said.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, another California Democrat, called the U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen "shameful," saying it helped create a humanitarian crisis.
Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973 after the U.S.'s disastrous involvement in Vietnam.
It gives Congress the authority to pull U.S. forces out of an undeclared war.
The White House said U.S. assistance to the Saudi coalition in Yemen does not fall under the War Powers Act because U.S. forces are not directly involved in hostilities.
If the Yemen resolution also passes in the Senate, the White House has threatened a veto.
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