Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war

War in Yemen AHMAD AL-BASHA AFPGetty Images

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted to end us military assistance to the war, saying the humanitarian crisis in Yemen triggered "demands moral leadership".

Donald Trump described the resolution as an unnecessary and unsafe attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities.

Tuesday's veto was the second of Trump's presidency.

The resolution, which would have required Trump to cease giving military assistance to Saudi Arabia, passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March. The resolution had invoked the War Powers Act to distance the United States from the conflict in Yemen, which began in 2014.

Several supporters made clear their votes were also aimed at expressing their frustrations with Trump's continued support for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been implicated in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Trump described the resolution as an "unnecessary" and "dangerous" attempt to weaken his constitutional powers.

The president called the resolution "dangerous".

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Yemen's civil war pits the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels backed by Iran. The Senate vote last month was 54-46.

"Coalition continues to work without interruption to support peace through United Nations led Stockholm Agreement & its commitment to the humanitarian & political dimensions of the Yemen crisis unshakable. Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis", Pelosi said.

Pelosi added: "This conflict must end, now".

Kaine accused Trump of turning a blind eye to Khashoggi's killing and the jailing of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. The Trump administration had already pledged to end the refueling runs.

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, acknowledged the dire situation in Yemen for civilians, but spoke out in opposition to the measure when it was passed. McCaul said it was an abuse of the War Powers Resolution and predicted it could disrupt US security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries. "It sets back the hopes for respite for the Yemeni people, and leaves the USA upholding a failed strategy". Trump vetoed that resolution last month.

The president has grown frustrated with Congress for some of its votes that seemed created to admonish him, such as the decision to remove sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - who has ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - and the pushback against Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his long-promised U.S. -Mexico border wall.

International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband said that vetoing the measure represents an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue".

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