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In Historic First, Senate Invokes War Powers Act - Page 2

Calls for US to end support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen war; 2nd vote condemns prince
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2018 9:25 AM CST
Updated Dec 13, 2018 3:45 PM CST

  • Argument in favor: "It says to the country, it says to the world, the United States Senate ... will not be part of this brutal, horrific war in Yemen led by an undemocratic, despotic regime," said Bernie Sanders, another co-sponsor, before the vote. Particularly, he said the bombing of a bus filled with children in August, along with the murder of Khashoggi, gave the measure its necessary added support.
  • Argument against: Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan made the same argument: that the War Powers Act doesn't apply because the US isn't directly involved in hostilities. "If the Senate wants to pick a constitutional fight with the executive branch over war powers, I would advise my colleagues to pick a better case," said McConnell, per the Washington Examiner.
  • US help: The US has provided logistical support to the Saudis, though Ryan points out that the US already has stopped providing air-to-air refueling for Saudi jets. Lee, on the other hand, said the US is providing bombs and helping determine where to drop them. "That's involvement in war, and that's pretty direct," he said, per USA Today.
  • Focus on the prince: For the first time, senators have suggested they want the Saudi regime to remove the prince from power, notes Al Jazeera. "The current construct" with Saudi Arabia "is not working," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is expected to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year. "You're never going to have a relationship with the United States Senate unless things change."
  • A bright spot: The Senate action came hours after opposing sides in the war met in Sweden and agreed to a cease-fire in the pivotal port city of Hodeidah, reports the Wall Street Journal. It's a rare diplomatic breakthrough after four years of war.
(The Yemen war amounts to a "death sentence" for young children there, according to a rights group.)


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