Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White was the latest to take a crack at justifying the Yemen War on Thursday. The conflict has killed at least 10,000 civilians, wounded at least 40,000 and displaced 3 million people, the senator said.
"Many Americans are unaware that the people of Yemen are suffering today from a devastating civil war with Saudi Arabia and their allies on one side and Houthi rebels on the other".
The current resolution will force a vote on whether the USA should continue to support Saudi Arabia. U.S. troops aren't engaged in combat against the Houthis but the United States has been providing refueling support for Saudi and Emirati bombers since the Barack Obama administration. US forces are coordinating, refueling, and providing targeting guidance and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition, as confirmed recently by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the USA military action in Yemen constitutes participation in the conflict, they added.
"For far too long, Congress under the Democratic and Republican administrations has abdicated its constitutional role in authorizing war", Sanders said.
The directive is clear: "Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or associated forces".
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The resolution is part of a longstanding friction between Congress and the executive branch over military involvement overseas. "And so they have - they have the principal oversight for - for that", he said.
In November 2017, the House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring that United States military assistance to Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict was not authorized. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and held up a Senate vote for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
"With this resolution, Congress can re-assert power over foreign policy decision-making", Lee said. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also flirted with a new war powers proposal in several hearings.
"The limited military and intelligence support that the United States is providing the [Saudi]-led coalition does not involve any introduction of USA forces into hostilities", the letter says. "This horror is caused in part by our decision to facilitate a bombing campaign that is murdering children, and to endorse a Saudi strategy inside Yemen that is deliberately using disease and starvation and the withdrawal of humanitarian support as a tactic".
"Every 10 minutes, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes in Yemen", Sanders noted on Twitter.
The Congress can not continue to allow the United States to be involved in conflicts without explicit congressional authorization.