President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution Tuesday that would have cut off U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in neighboring Yemen. The measure, which condemned the Saudi-led bombing campaign, passed the Senate last month with the support of seven Republicans in the upper chamber and passed in the House earlier this month 247 to 175 with 16 Republicans voting in favor. The resolution’s passage in the House and Senate was novel in that it marked “the first time both chambers have voted to invoke the same war-powers resolution to end U.S. military engagement in a foreign conflict,” according to the Washington Post.
The veto, Trump’s second in office, was widely expected in response to a measure aimed at distancing the U.S. from the brutal four-year conflict, as well as a rebuke of the Trump administration’s support for the Saudi regime in the face of its brazen murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year. “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in his veto message.
The split support for the measure in the House highlighted a growing divide between Republicans and Democrats on how much unconditional support to dish out to the Saudis as they engage in a bloody offensive against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran. Still, “[t]he decision to keep support for the war in Yemen is perplexing to some members of the administration, considering the president is usually inclined to remove U.S.
troops from all conflict zones,” the Post notes.