President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed resolution from Congress directing him to end US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the second such move of his presidency.
The resolution was a harsh bipartisan rebuke to Trump that took the historic step of curtailing a president’s war-making powers — a step the president condemned in a statement announcing his veto.
The Senate had passed a bipartisan resolution on 13 March in a 54-to-46 vote, in a move that was largely seen as a rebuke of Trump’s alliance with the Saudi forces leading war on Yemen. The House voted on the resolution in early April, passing it with 247 votes to 175.
“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.
The US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition.
But as the war drags on, members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014.
The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country has left millions suffering from shortages of food and medical care and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Meanwhile, many lawmakers have grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Lawmakers criticized the president for not condemning the country for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was complicit in the killing.
The veto is the second of Trump’s presidency. Congress lacks the votes to override him.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said: “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bipartisan resolution to end US involvement in the horrific war in Yemen. The people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs,” The Guardian reported.
The California congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat, said: “From a president elected on the promise of putting a stop to our endless wars, this veto is a painful missed opportunity.”