- The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution requiring the United States to withdraw support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
- The resolution passed through the Senate in March and will now head to President Donald Trump’s desk, setting up the second veto of his presidency.
- The stunning rebuke of one of the Trump administration’s policies was in part prompted by outrage over the murder of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution requiring the United States to withdraw military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, rebuking President Donald Trump and his administration’s handling of the murder of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The resolution, which passed through the Senate in March, sets up the second veto of Trump’s presidency and delivers a rebuke of yet another key administration policy.
The House voted 247-175, with just 16 Republicans crossing the aisle to join Democrats.
In the March Senate vote, the resolution passed with support from all Democrats and seven Republicans.
The resolution is both a product of noninterventionist lawmakers looking to withdraw the US from the Saudis’ brutal campaign in Yemen as well as the culmination of growing frustration with how the Trump administration has responded to Khashoggi’s killing, which took place in October at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Republicans and Democrats alike widely criticised Trump for standing by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is widely believed to have played a central role in Khashoggi’s killing.
“The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone,” Trump said in a November statement. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally.” He added that the US “intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.”
Tensions became worse when the administration’s intelligence agencies were not forthright with lawmakers about their assessment of the Khashoggi killing.
“The royal family inside the country looks to what the president says and so do people in the region,” then-Sen. Bob Corker told reporters last year. “And therefore I think it would appear to them and to people in the region that just based on what has been said, that someone like MBS can murder people and have immunity.”
Other lawmakers, like Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, were frustrated at not being allowed to receive a full briefing from CIA Director Gina Haspel.
The administration’s handling of Khashoggi’s killing, coupled with frequent reports of abusive behaviour by the Saudis in Yemen, created a snowball effect on the resolution. Trump, however, is likely to veto it. As it stands, the resolution is unlikely to garner enough votes to override a presidential veto.
A veto would be the second of Trump’s presidency, after he shelved a resolution in March that aimed to terminate his national-emergency declaration aimed at diverting military funds for construction of a wall along parts of the United States border with Mexico. Congress lacked support to override that veto.
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