In a surprising move of bipartisanship in the US Senate, legislators were able to reach across the aisle to challenge the War in Yemen.
The Senate agreed to a full floor debate on Wednesday over a bill that questions the constitutionality of US participation in the Saudi-backed war in Yemen against the Iran-aligned Houthi militants. The measure was approved by a stunning 63-37 margin so the resolution will be heard.
Secretaries of State and Defense Mike Pompeo and James Mattis attempted to create additional support for the Saudi-led intervention by allegedly bringing Senators into a backroom and attempting to convince them of the merits. These tactics backfired and caused even more legislators to support the resolution, according to reports.
“This mounting Senate support suggests the bill itself is very likely to pass, although it may ultimately stall in the House of Representatives, where a recent effort at a War Powers Act challenge to the war was derailed in favor of a wolf-hunting measure,” foreign policy analyst Jason Ditz of Antiwar.com explained.
The measure was introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy and is bolstered by a letter signed by many foreign policy experts. The experts pointed out the failures of the Obama administration regarding Yemen and how these mistakes have been continued and expanded during the Trump administration.
“Since 2015, the Executive Branch has never sought statutory authorization required by the War Powers Resolution for military participation alongside Saudi Arabia against Yemen’s Houthi rebels,” the letter correctly noted. “Nor has it provided to Congress any legal justification for its ongoing hostilities. The Houthis pose no direct threat to the United States, nor are they covered under any authorization for use of military force.”
Trump has been urged to end the US support of the intervention in Yemen by those who argue it contradicts his ‘America First’ agenda and abets human rights abuses.