Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Donald Trump vetoes bill to end US involvement in Yemen war

Donald Trump vetoes bill to end US involvement in Yemen war

Tuesday's veto was the second of Trump's presidency.

The president called the resolution "dangerous".

"This resolution is an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and courageous service members, both today and in the future", Trump wrote explaining why he issued the veto.

Congress passed the resolution following Saudi Arabia's repeated targeting of civilian gatherings in Yemen. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out.

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The CIA has concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, ordered Khashoggi's killing.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been accused of acts that could amount to war crimes and regularly fire drones at Saudi cities.

The fighting in the Arab world's poorest country has left millions suffering from shortages of food and medical care and has pushed the country to the brink of starvation. Democrats argued that U.S. involvement in the Yemen conflict - through intelligence-sharing, logistical support and now-discontinued aerial refueling - is unconstitutional without congressional authority. "Doing so would interfere with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and could endanger our service members by impairing their ability to efficiently and effectively conduct military engagements and to withdraw in an orderly manner at the appropriate time". Trump argued that U.S. support for the bloody war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned Huthi rebels was necessary for a variety of reasons, "first and foremost" to "protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries".

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted to end U.S. military assistance to the war, saying the humanitarian crisis in Yemen triggered "demands moral leadership".

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"In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a "cheap" and low-cost way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for our ally, Saudi Arabia", Mr. Trump said.

The resolution's approval in both the House of Representatives and the Senate had been seen as a historic milestone already, as it was the first time that a bill invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution reached the president's desk. In the Senate the vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats. "The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world", Pelosi wrote. "Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis", Pelosi said.

"This conflict must end, now". The House has voted to end American involvement in the Yemen war, rebuffing the Trump administration's support for the Saudi-led military campaign. McCaul said it was an abuse of the War Powers Resolution and predicted it could disrupt USA security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries.

Backers of the measure said the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen had made the humanitarian crisis worse, harshly criticizing Riyadh for killing civilians.

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