Senate’s Yemen war measure rebukes Trump, rewards Murphy
Washington – The Senate gave President Donald Trump a strong rebuke and Sen. Chris Murphy a win Wednesday when it approved a resolution seeking to end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the war in Yemen.
Murphy was a co-sponsor of the resolution with Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
The measure seeks to end any U.S. military involvement in the conflict in Yemen, including providing targeting support for Saudi air strikes, without authorization from Congress. It was approved on a bipartisan 54-46 vote.
The Senate vote also sent a message of disapproval for a war that has killed thousands of civilians, including many women and children, and engulfed Yemen in famine.
A Saudi-led effort has targeted Yemen’s Houthi rebels in an attempt to hold back Iran’s expansion in the area. But the bombing campaign has at time hit civilian facilities and hampered the delivery of aid shipments to Yemenis in need. The United Nations has called it the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.
“We should not be associated with a bombing campaign that the UN tells us is likely a gross violation of human rights,” Murphy said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Murphy also said “I started raising the alarm about this issue four years ago, and I was a lonely voice in Washington.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also voted for the resolution.
“The United States should end its involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen that has resulted in widespread famine, disease, and death,” Blumenthal said. “The United States should not be involved in these actions – they betray our values and our national interests.”
It is the second time the Senate has approved a measure that would curb U.S. military involvement in Yemen. A similar resolution, also sponsored by Murphy, Sanders and Lee, was approved in December, but was not voted on in the U.S. House, then under GOP control.
Now the U.S. House is in Democratic hands and Blumenthal urged the chamber to “take up and pass this resolution so we can issue a final condemnation of United States’ support for this war – once and for all.”
Murphy said that after the Senate voted for a similar resolution last year, the warring parties in Yemen moved towards a cease fire.
But opponents of the resolution said it was flawed and would hinder efforts at reaching a peace accord.
“I would urge my colleagues to vote against this at this time and give peace a chance through the negotiations,” said Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho.
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