Senate fails to override Trump’s veto, continuing U.S. involvement in Yemen

Donald Trump. Photo: White House video screengrab

May 3 (UPI) — The Senate failed Thursday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of legislation calling for an end to U.S. support of the war in Yemen.

The Senate voted 53-45, short of the 67 senators needed to overturn Trump’s veto. The bill would have ceased U.S. logistical and intelligence support of the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen.

The resolution “directs the president to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless Congress authorizes a later withdrawal date, issues a declaration of war or specifically authorizes the use of the armed forces.”

The resolution also called for an end to in-flight refueling of non-U.S. aircraft conducting missions as part of the conflict in Yemen. The resolution did not affect military operations directed at al-Qaida.

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The bill gained bipartisan support after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed last fall. U.S. intelligence concluded that the assassination at a Istanbul embassy was ordered by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, galvanizing support for the bill, which passed the Senate on March 13. Trump, who has been a vocal supporter of Saudi Arabia, blocked the bill with the second veto of his presidency on April 16.

The Senate’s attempt to overturn the veto got some Republicans on board but not enough. Many Republicans see the situation in Yemen as a support operation that doesn’t warrant using congressional war powers.

Midair refueling of Saudi coalition war planes has ended and the United States issued new sanctions against Saudi officials connected to the Khashoggi killing.

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