In a substantial rebuke of President Donald Trump, the House of Representatives voted to end U.S. assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen on Wednesday.
Spurred by the Trump administration’s ongoing support for Saudi Arabia following the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, 18 Republicans joined the Democratic House majority to back a joint resolution “directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.”
Though an amendment added by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) provides an out for the U.S. government to continue gathering and sharing intelligence, the move marked a rare invocation of the War Powers Resolution, which Congress passed after the Vietnam War to limit presidential power on military operations.
Following the House vote on Wednesday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted that he would “force a vote in the Senate” with Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The three senators authored a similar resolution that passed with the support of seven Republicans last December, but the House, controlled by Republicans at the time, didn’t allow a vote.
If the Senate moves to rebuke Trump again over Saudi Arabia — which seems likely since six of the seven GOP senators who supported last year’s measure remain in office — the president would have to decide whether to sign off on the resolution or exercise the first veto of his administration.
The U.S. military’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war began in 2015 under President Barack Obama, but has intensified under Trump.
Airstrikes by U.S.-backed forces have killed nearly 20,000 civilians.
The conflict has caused a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, as U.S. intelligence estimates that 16 million people don’t have access to food or water and roughly 100,000 children have starved to death.