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Senate Votes to End U.S. Support for Saudi War, Condemn Crown Prince for Khashoggi Murder

Do you support the Senate's bills?

by Countable | 12.13.18

The Senate on Thursday passed bills that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, and formally condemned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senators approved the Yemen war powers bill (S.J.Res. 54), offered by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Todd Young (R-IN), on a 56-41 vote that saw 7 Republicans join all Democrats in supporting the bill.

That marked the first time the Senate passed a bill withdrawing U.S. military forces under the War Powers Resolution (WPR). It also set precedent for future debate on bills considered under the WPR, as senators voted 96-3 to close a loophole and require that all amendments to WPR bills be germane (or relevant).

The second bill, offered by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and approved by voice vote, calls for a diplomatic solution to the Yemen conflict and condemns Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his role in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What’s next for the bills?

Probably nothing, at least not until the 116th Congress is seated in January.

Earlier in the week, the House passed a rule governing debate on the Farm Bill (which it passed 369-47) that also stripped the privileged status from the Senate’s war powers bill by a razor-thin, three-vote margin.

That means its supporters won’t be able to force its consideration during the remaining weeks of the 115th Congress, although they’ve already signaled their intent to resume the debate in the new year.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / uschools)

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