Senate Votes Against US Support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen

The Senate voted 58-41 to oppose US support of the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. Architect of the US Capitol photo.

The Senate on Thursday voted convincingly to oppose the continued US support of the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, a largely symbolic step to rebuke Saudi Arabia following continued allegations of civilian casualties and the alleged murder of a Washington Post journalist.

The Senate by a vote of 58-41 approved a resolution to pull US military support to the Saudi-led coalition, however the resolution likely won’t make it to the House floor.

The vote is the first time the Senate has voted to end an “unauthorized war,” one that has caused a humanitarian disaster, the resolution’s sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said following the vote.

In addition to the House blocking a vote, the White House has threatened to veto the measure if it makes it out of Congress.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last month that any move to reduce US military support to Saudi Arabia would breathe new life into Houthi combat operations just as peace negotiations have begun.

Since 2015, the US military has provided intelligence and targeting support to the coalition, along with in-air refueling from US tankers that ended last month at the request of Saudi Arabia.

Also on Thursday, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said the Defense Department failed to properly charge Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for fuel and aerial refueling services conducted from March 2015 to Nov. 11, 2018, saying the Saudi-led coalition now owes US taxpayers $331 million.