WASHINGTON: The US Senate on Wednesday dealt a stinging bipartisan rebuke to Donald Trump’s foreign policy and his alliance with Riyadh, voting to end support for the Saudi-led war effort against the Houthis in Yemen.
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chamber approved a historic curtailment of presidential war powers that directs Trump “to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen” within 30 days.
The Senate vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans defying the president and aligning with Democrats.
The text now heads to the Democrat-led House of Representatives, which approved a similar measure that stalled earlier this year, and which is likely to pass the latest effort.
The White House has threatened a veto, calling the measure “flawed” and saying it would harm bilateral relationships in the region and hurt Washington’s ability to fight extremism.
But its full passage would set a historic marker. It would be the first measure passed by Congress to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to directly curtail a president’s use of military powers.
The World Health Organization says about 10,000 people have been killed in the war between forces loyal to the Yemeni government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.
The resolution is a reminder that Congress has the legal ability to compel the removal of US military forces, absent a formal declaration of war.
Should it pass Congress, it could force Trump to issue the first veto of his tenure.
The vote may well be the first of two congressional rebukes of Trump in as many days.
On Thursday, the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution — already passed by the House — to reverse Trump’s emergency declaration on border security, after the president went around Congress in a bid to secure more funding for his wall between the United States and Mexico.
In that case too, he has promised to use his veto.