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Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna slam Trump for vetoing Yemen war resolution



President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued the second veto of his presidency after Congress in early April passed a resolution defying his stance on US support for the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen conflict.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who led the charge on this resolution, slammed Trump for this decision.

“The people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs,” Sanders said in a tweet on Tuesday night. “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bi-partisan resolution to end U.S. involvement in the horrific war in Yemen.”

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California, who spearheaded efforts on the resolution in the House, told INSIDER, “This is very sad and a missed opportunity by the President to stand up for the Constitution. He ignored the views of his allies like Rand Paul, Mark Meadows, and Matt Gaetz, all of whom voted against endless war and these interventions.”

After the resolution passed in the House, Khanna and a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers wrote a letter urging Trump to sign the resolution.

Read more: Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Ro Khanna, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to Trump imploring him to end US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen

In terms of what can be done next, Khanna added, “The most urgent task now is for the United States to call on the Saudis to lift the blockade in Yemen so 14 million civilians don’t face famine.”

The president justified his veto by describing the Yemen resolution as a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

Trump’s first veto came after Congress rebuked him and voted to block his national emergency declaration to obtain funding for a border wall.

The resolution, sponsored by Sanders, passed in the Senate in March and the House followed suit earlier this month.

“Today we took a clear stand against war and famine and for Congress’ war powers by voting to end our complicity in the war in Yemen,” Sanders said in a tweet after the vote. “This is just the beginning of a national debate over when and where we go to war and Congress’ authority over those interventions.”

The push for the US to end its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen gained significant momentum after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who moved to the US and wrote columns for The Washington Post, was brutally killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. His death sparked outrage worldwide and inspired many US lawmakers to champion a reevaluation of the US-Saudi relations.

The CIA reportedly concluded Khashoggi’s death was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom. Trump has stood by Prince Mohammed and the Saudi government in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing, and has largely ignored pressure from lawmakers, including top Republicans, to do more.

The passage of the Yemen resolution on Thursday stands as a rebuke of Trump’s foreign policy and particularly his controversial reaction to Khashoggi’s killing.

Read more: House passes resolution ending US support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war, setting up just the 2nd veto of Trump’s presidency

The resolution passed by a vote of 247 to 175, primarily along party lines. It marked the first time in history a resolution invoking the War Powers Act of 1973 was passed in both chambers of Congress.

Responding to the resolution’s success in the House in early April, Khanna in a tweet said, “Today, the House of Representatives took a clear stand against war and famine by voting to end our complicity in the war in Yemen. This is the first time in the history of this nation that a War Powers Resolution has passed the House and Senate & made it to the President’s desk.”

Read more:US senators furious with Saudi Arabia after classified briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel

The passage of this resolution highlights growing anti-interventionist sentiments in Congress, particularly among Democrats. It also represents Congress reasserting its war powers, and occurs as many lawmakers question the broad authority that’s been granted to presidents in the post-9/11 world when it comes to armed conflict.

The Yemen conflict has generated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Approximately 14 million people are facing starvation because of the conflict, which just entered its fifth year, and it’s estimated to have killed roughly 60,000 people.

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