In House's Yemen vote, Congress reasserts war-making powers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Asserting congressional authority over war-making powers, the House passed a resolution today that would force the administration to withdraw U.S. troops from involvement in Yemen, in a rebuke of President Donald Trump's alliance with the Saudi-led coalition behind the military intervention.
Lawmakers in both parties are increasingly uneasy over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and skeptical of the U.S. partnership with that coalition, especially in light of Saudi Arabia's role in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the royal family.
Passage would mark the first time Congress has relied on the decades-old War Powers Resolution to halt military intervention. It also would set up a potential confrontation with the White House, which has threatened a veto. The House voted 248-177 to approve the measure, sending it to the Senate, where a similar resolution passed last year.
"We have helped create, and worsen, the world's largest humanitarian crisis," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., during the debate. "Our involvement in this war, quite frankly, is shameful."
The chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said the vote represents "Congress reclaiming its role in foreign policy."
Senate approval would set up a showdown with the administration over Trump's shifting approach on foreign policy.
Lawmakers are quick to point out Trump wants to withdraw troops from the wars in Syria and Afghanistan as part of his "America First" approach, but he has shown less interest in limiting the U.S. role in Yemen.
The White House says the House resolution is "flawed" because U.S. troops are not directly involved in military action in the Yemen, where the coalition is fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in a conflict largely seen as a proxy involving the Mideast's dominant regional players.