WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration threatened Monday to veto an attempt at the US Congress to end the US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni war, and to keep up with lawmakers about the policy regarding the kingdom.
FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump joins Air Force One for a trip to a rally in El Paso, Texas of Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, USA February 11, 2019. REUTERS / Leah Millis
Democrats and Republicans have reintroduced the resolution on war powers two weeks ago as a way to send a powerful message to Riyadh, both about the humanitarian disaster in Yemen and condemning the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The government said the resolution was inappropriate because US troops had taken care of refueling aircraft and other support in the Yemen conflict, and not fighting troops. It also said that the measure would damage relations in the region and damage US ability to prevent the spread of violent extremism.
The White House has upset many members of Congress, including some of the fellow Republicans of President Donald Trump, by failing to report on a Friday term for the killing of Khashoggi last year at a Saudi consulate in Turkey. Khashoggi was a US resident and columnist for the Washington Post.
"It is difficult to feel affection or an obligation towards a regime that does such things," said the democratic representative Ed Perlmutter at a hearing on a Monday resolution.
The Saudis, who see Trump as an important regional partner, lead a coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The war killed tens of thousands of people and left millions of people on the brink of starvation.
The United States supported the air campaign led by Saudi Arabia with assistance with refueling in the air, intelligence and assistance with targeting.
Democrats consider the resolution of war powers as a way to assert the constitutional right of Congress to grant permission for the use of military power in foreign conflicts. Republican opponents of the measure, following Trump, argue that support for the Saudis is a security agreement, not the use of force.
The US Senate, which was controlled by the Republican, passed the resolution on the war force in December, the first time that such a resolution had adopted even one Congress House. But the Republicans, who then controlled the House, did not allow a vote in the lower chamber.
After overwhelming election victories, the Democrats now have a majority in the House. They plan to include the resolution this week.
However, the resolution would struggle to collect the two-thirds majorities needed in both the House and the Senate to overcome a Trump veto. Republicans still have a small majority in the Senate.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Rosalba O & # 39; Brien