Published: Wed, April 17, 2019

Trump vetoes measure to end U.S. involvement in Yemen war

Trump vetoes measure to end U.S. involvement in Yemen war

The resolution was a harsh bipartisan rebuke to Trump that took the historic step of curtailing a president's war-making powers - a step he condemned in a statement announcing his veto.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - the country's most senior Democratic politician - took aim at Trump's veto in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

The U.S. has provided billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Trump had vowed to veto the bill despite appeals by congressmen to send a strong message to Riyadh.

The veto - the second in Trump's presidency - was expected.

United States senators have accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering the murder of Mr Khashoggi, but Saudi prosecutors have insisted it was a "rogue operation" and that the agents were not acting on his orders. With the resolution, members of Congress were acting on their concerns about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014.

Lawmakers criticized the president for not condemning the country for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom.

The president also said that the measure would harm bilateral relations and interferes with his constitutional power as commander in chief.

He also claimed that USA support was needed to "protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to Houthi attacks from Yemen", referring to the Iran-aligned forces in the country.

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

"This conflict must end, now". The Trump administration had already pledged to end the refueling runs.

International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband said that vetoing the measure represents an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue".

The president has grown frustrated with Congress for some of its votes that seemed created to admonish him, such as the decision to remove sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - who has ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - and the pushback against Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his long-promised U.S. -Mexico border wall.

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.

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