Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end US involvement in Yemen war

17 April, 2019, 13:34 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Trump vetoes bill to end US military support for Saudi-led war in Yemen

Before Trump signed his second veto, Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna told The Daily Caller News Foundation he hoped the president would stand against endless wars and sign the resolution.

A senior administration official said that Trump was involved in drafting and editing the language of Tuesday's veto statement and that he had told senators for some time he was going to issue a veto.

The U.S. has provided billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

In vetoing the resolution, Trump lashed out at Congress for passing it.

The move, which had been expected, marks the second veto of Trump's presidency. The president has strongly backed Saudi Arabia, even after the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and after United States intelligence agencies determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began.

At the same time, Trump continues to want to keep strong ties with Saudi Arabia and does not share the view of Congress that the kingdom needs to be punished for the killing of Khashoggi, aides said.

The four-year-long civil war in Yemen, which pits the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels backed by Iran, has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what the United Nations calls the world's most dire humanitarian crisis, with the country on the brink of starvation.


"In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a "cheap" and low-priced way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for our ally, Saudi Arabia", Mr. Trump said. In the Senate the vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Tuesday night saying: "The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world. Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis".

Since less than two-thirds of either chamber voted to approve the resolution in the first place, there's little chance that the veto could be overturned.

Trump used his first veto in March to shut down a bipartisan resolution condemning his declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a southern border wall.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that the veto was "part of an alarming pattern of Trump turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's actions that fly in the face of American values" and accused the administration of "deference to Saudi Arabia at the expense of American security interests".

David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, said: "This veto by President Trump is morally wrong and strategically wrongheaded".

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