Senate Fails to Override Trump Veto of Yemen Bill

The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a bill demanding the U.S. stop supporting the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen.

The vote was 53 to 45 in favor, but it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass in the 100-member Senate.

Both the House and Senate passed the bill earlier this year despite Trump’s promise to veto.

The bill marked the first time in history that Congress invoked the 1973 War Powers Act, which says a president cannot involve U.S. forces in a foreign conflict without lawmakers’ consent.

The U.S. supplies intelligence and other support to the Saudi-led coalition trying to push Iranian-backed Houthi rebels out of Yemen.

Opponents of the bill said the act did not apply because the U.S. forces were not involved in combat in Yemen.

But its Senate supporters — including sponsors Republican Mike Lee of Utah and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont — said the U.S. has been helping a foreign power bomb innocent civilians.

Saudi airstrikes targeting the Houthis have hit civilian neighborhoods in Yemen, killing thousands. A U.S.-supplied missile fired by the Saudis struck a school bus near Sanaa last year, killing 40 children. 

Along with the bloodshed in Yemen, many lawmakers are upset at Trump’s tepid reaction to the killing of U.S.-based  Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

He was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October, allegedly at the behest of the Saudi crown prince because of his criticism of the royal family. Khashoggi’s body has not been found.

The Trump administration has pointed out that Saudi Arabia is a valuable and essential U.S. ally in the Middle East and an enemy of Iran.

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