[pjw] NEWS: Senate votes to end US support of Saudi war in Yemen (Politico 3/13)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Mar 14 18:35:05 EDT 2019

Hello Iraq Affinity Group supporters:

First, the good news and a quick suggestion for action: Yesterday, the 
Senate voted 54-46 on SJResolution 7 which orders the President to remove 
armed forces from the conflict in Yemen-- except those there to fight Al 
Qaeda (sigh).

Technical details are here, with a Politico analysis below.


All 45 Democrats (including Oregon's) and 2 Independents voted in favor
plus these seven Republicans:

Collins (ME), Daines (MT), Lee (UT), Moran (KS), Murkowski (AK), Paul (KY) 
and Young (IN).

Now we are poised for a historic first, where the House can pass this 
resolution pursuant to the War Powers act. As noted in reference to the 
House's effort from February (which was thrown out on a technicality), the 
only person in Oregon's delegation to vote no was Greg Walden. If you live 
in Oregon's 5th District and want to encourage Rep Walden to vote for this 
resolution, which echoes his vote on HR 599 in December 2017, that would 
be great. The house needs 290 votes to ensure a veto-proof piece of 
legislation (only 248 voted for it last time). Also if you know people in 
other states with Republican Reps who might vote the right way, now is 
time to get those emails, social media connections or phone calls going!

Other than the "except Al Qaeda" and other things which could be improved 
in the Resolution, the bad news of course is that there have to be 67 
votes in the Senate to overcome said threatened veto. It may be worth 
telling your contacts to push their Senators too in case Trump does issue 
the veto and the two chambers try to overturn it. (Most likely, Mitch 
McConnell won't allow a second vote, but who knows.)

Anyway, at least for now this is a good step forward.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Senate rebuffs Trump with vote cutting off U.S. support in Yemen
    Several Republicans joined Democrats to build a bipartisan majority for
    the measure.
    03/13/2019 06:36 PM EDT
    Updated 03/13/2019 06:51 PM EDT

    The Senate on Wednesday gave President Donald Trump's foreign policy
    yet another vote of no-confidence, approving a resolution to cut off
    U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's bloody civil war.

    Seven Republicans joined all members of the Democratic Caucus in
    backing the bill, which senators viewed as an opportunity not only
    toreassert Congress' authority to declare war, but to rebuke the Trump
    administration over its posture toward Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of
    the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    "I think Republicans are just growing thin with Trump's foreign policy,
    and they are more willing now to break with him now because they see
    his foreign policy getting more bizarre as time goes on," Sen. Chris
    Murphy (D-Conn.), a chief sponsor of the Yemen War Powers resolution,
    said in an interview.

    The White House has dispatched top Pentagon and State Department
    officials to Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers that the U.S. should
    remain involved in the conflict -- but to no avail, as the War Powers
    measure will soon reach the president's desk. Trump has already
    threatened to veto it.

    The Yemen vote comes a day before the Senate is set to pass a
    resolution of disapproval formally admonishing Trump over his recent
    national emergency declaration. Four Republican senators have already
    pledged to vote for the resolution, and at least half a dozen more are
    considering it. The president has promised to veto that resolution,

    Despite his stated goal to bring American troops home from war zones
    around the world, Trump has long opposed the Yemen War Powers effort,
    arguing that U.S. presence in the region is critical for
    counterterrorism operations and pushing back on Iran. The Saudi-led
    coalition has been battling Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in a civil war
    that has spurred a humanitarian crisis on the ground.

    "This war is a humanitarian and a strategic disaster," said Sen. Bernie
    Sanders (I-Vt.), another leader of the anti-war effort.

    The House passed a similar measure last month, but it was blocked from
    getting a vote in the Senate after the parliamentarian ruled that one
    of the amendments -- a Republican-led effort to condemn anti-Semitism
    -- was not "germane" to the legislation, effectively killing it.

    House Democratic leaders intend to hold a vote on the Senate-passed
    version, setting up a presidential veto.

    A handful of Republicans voted for the measure in December in an effort
    to send a message to the Trump administration about its Saudi policies
    and give the president a chance to reset the U.S.-Saudi Arabia
    relationship. But Republicans still broke with the White House on
    Wednesday, indicating that the administration has done little to
    assuage their concerns.

    "It's becoming clearer and clearer that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is
    not an ally that deserves our unwavering, unquestioning, unflinching
    support," said Utah Sen. Mike Lee, the lead Republican sponsor of the
    War Powers resolution. "It is not an ally that deserves our support or
    our military intervention."

    In advance of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
    urged senators to oppose the measure, calling it "unnecessary,"
    "inappropriate" and "unproductive."

    "Pulling the plug on support to our partners only undermines the very
    leverage and influence that we need to help facilitate the U.N.'s
    diplomatic efforts," McConnell said. "The U.S. will be in a better
    position to encourage the Saudi-led coalition to take diplomatic risks
    if our partners trust that we appreciate the significant, legitimate
    threat they face from the Houthis."

    While McConnell acknowledged that it was "completely understandable"
    for lawmakers to have concerns about the war, he said senators should
    raise their concerns about the administration's Saudi policies directly
    with senior officials.

    McConnell has tried to contain his fellow Republicans who have openly
    fumed about the administration's response to Khashoggi's October murder
    inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Those frustrations reached a
    tipping point last month when the administration said it would not
    comply with senators' request under the Magnitsky Act to determine who
    is responsible for Khashoggi's grisly killing.

    Lawmakers have said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was
    complicit in Khashoggi's murder. Others have gone further, suggesting
    based on intelligence briefings that the crown prince ordered the

    But the president has backed up the kingdom's claims that the crown
    prince had no involvement, and he has resisted congressional attempts
    to punish Saudi Arabia while defending U.S. weapons sales to Riyadh.

    "This administration doesn't give a crap about human rights, and it's
    unacceptable to Republicans and Democrats," Murphy said.

    John Bresnahan and Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.

More information about the pjw-list mailing list