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Congress Alert

Senate May Vote to Restrict US Involvement in Yemen War


Might congressional action soon restrict United States support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen?

Julia Conley at Common Dreams reports of a promising development in the US Senate:
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday signaled that he has the votes needed to pass a War Powers Resolution that would block US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, where more than 23 million people are suffering from one of the world's largest humanitarian crises even amid a cease-fire.

The Vermont Independent senator told The Intercept that he plans to bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote 'hopefully next week,' and when asked whether he has enough support for the measure he said, 'I think we do, yes.'
Keep in mind that the kind of war support blocked by the resolution is US military members being involved in hostilities related to Yemen. Since the US military is playing a support role in the war instead of doing most of the invading and bombing, the Biden administration could view the resolution as leaving plenty of room for the continuing of much of the US military involvement, in addition to the providing of weapons to further the war. In other words, a large part of US support for the war may continue.

Sanders’ current resolution defines “hostilities” broadly. But, given that the Yemen resolution is brought pursuant to the War Powers Resolution of 1973, Sanders' resolution can be argued not to have the authority to expand the meaning of “hostilities” beyond what it means in the War Powers Resolution.

Also, winning this vote in the Senate, and in the House of Representatives as well, does not alone ensure the US limits its actions in support of the war. The vote was won in both chambers of Congress before in 2019. Yet, as Conley explains in her article, US involvement has continued since because then-President Donald Trump vetoed the resolution. President Joe Biden could do the same.
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