Trump threatens of veto if Congress seeks ending support for Saudis

Washington (Debriefer)
2019-02-12 | Since 5 Day

Do Trump threats for Congress work?

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The Trump administration stated on Monday that it would veto an effort in the Congress to end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni legitimate government in the 4-year war against Houthi rebels.

For Reuters, Trump threats mean continuation of a stand-off with lawmakers over policy towards the Saudi Arabia Kingdom.

Democrats and Republicans re-introduced the war powers resolution two weeks ago as a way to send a strong message to Riyadh both about the humanitarian disaster in Yemen and condemn the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi consulate last October, which Saudi authorities admitted.

The administration rejected the resolution as inappropriate for US forces had provided aircraft refueling and other support in the Yemen conflict, not combat troops, before Riyadh and Washington announced the end of refueling support last November.

Trump administration also said the measure would harm US relationships in the region and weaken the US ability to prevent the spread of violent extremism.

The White House has angered many members of Congress, Reuters reported, including some of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans, by failing to provide a report by a Friday deadline on the murder of Khashoggi in Istanbul.

"It's hard to feel any affection or some obligation to a regime that does that kind of stuff," Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter said at a House of Representatives hearing on the resolution on Monday.

Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iranian-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014, pushing the country to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with more than two thirds of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by Houthi rebels seen as proxy for Iran in the Arab Peninsula country.

The Republican-controlled US Senate passed the war powers resolution in December, the first time such a resolution had passed even one house of Congress. But Republicans, who then controlled the House, did not allow a vote in the lower chamber.

According to Reuters, after sweeping election victories, Democrats now have a House majority. They intend to take up the resolution this week.

However, Reuters added, the resolution would struggle to garner the two-thirds majorities needed in both the House and Senate to overcome a Trump veto. Republicans still hold a slim majority in the Senate.

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