In a welcome move, both houses of Congress have passed a joint resolution to withdraw support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The House of Representatives voted 247-175 in favor of the resolution yesterday and the US Senate voted 54-46 in favor in March. The resolution “directs the president to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless further engagement is authorized by Congress.” In the House, 16 Republicans voted in favor and no Democrats voted against while in the Senate seven Republicans voted in favor and no Democrats voted against.
Unfortunately, given that Donald Trump, like presidents before him, grovels before the murderous Saudi regime, he will veto this legislation and there are insufficient votes to override the veto, since that requires 67 in the Senate and 290 in the House. The US military-industrial complex also opposes any reduction in wars, even such exceedingly cruel ones like the one in Yemen that is creating a humanitarian catastrophe, because of the money they get from selling arms for wars and the Pentagon gets to fatten itself as well.
A noteworthy feature is that those opposed to the resolution adopted a familiar tactic of inserting an unrelated amendment about anti-Semitism in the hope of scuttling the bill. It seemed to work initially but then failed.
The House first adopted the resolution in February, though with a last-minute amendment added when some Democrats joined Republicans to include language opposing anti-Semitism. The Senate then adopted a version without that provision, and the House on Thursday rejected a GOP attempt to add a similar amendment.
Khanna told his colleagues before the vote that he agreed with Democratic leaders who urged members to oppose any last-minute changes this time.
“I have supported very strongly resolutions condemning anti-Semitism, but I also don’t think that these tactics should be used as weapons to prevent the efforts to stop the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world,” Khanna said on the House floor.
The resolution was sponsored by progressives in both chambers, led by Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Ro Khanna in the House.