Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump vetoes resolution to end US participation in Yemen’s civil war

Trump vetoes resolution to end US participation in Yemen’s civil war

US President Donald Trump has vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

In a statement to the Senate on Tuesday, the Commander-in-chief called the resolution "an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities".

The move marked the second time that Trump has used his veto power to reject a bill from the legislature.

The Senate voted 54-46 in favor for the resolution while the House of Representatives voted 247-175.

"In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a "cheap" and low-priced way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for our ally, Saudi Arabia", Mr. Trump said. The president has strongly backed Saudi Arabia, even after the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and after USA intelligence agencies determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder. The bill would have invoked the War Powers Resolution to pull US assistance to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen.

Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the U.S. shouldn't be involved in the war without explicit permission from Congress. Opponents argued the United States does not have "boots on the ground" and is offering noncombat technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, an ally.

The president also argued the resolution would "harm the foreign policy of the United States" and "harm our bilateral relationships".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Tuesday night saying: "The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world".

The president said USA forces are not engaged in hostilities "in or affecting Yemen" apart from counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula and the Islamic State.

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, acknowledged the dire situation in Yemen for civilians, but spoke out in opposition to the measure when it was passed.

The US support role in Yemen started under the Barack Obama administration and has continued throughout the Trump Presidency. McCaul said it was an abuse of the war powers resolution and predicted it could disrupt USA security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries.

The president issued his first veto of legislation out of Congress in March when they voted to block his declaration of a national emergency on the border.

International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband said that vetoing the measure represents an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue".

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