Push to end U.S. support for Saudi war hits Senate setback
© Stefani Reynolds

A House-passed resolution that would withdraw U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen is running into a procedural roadblock in the Senate. 

The roadblock may delay the legislation, which is seen as a bipartisan rebuke of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE.

The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the House resolution is not "privileged" in the Senate — a status that was expected to allow supporters to force a vote and pass it with only a simple majority despite steep objections from GOP leadership. 

A spokesman for Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Senators defend bipartisan bill on facial recognition as cities crack down MORE (R-Utah), who supports the resolution, said they hadn't talked directly to the parliamentarian but the issue had been "communicated" to them. The Washington Examiner first reported the temporary setback. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Supporters have brought up the resolution under the War Powers Act, which gives it a privileged status that allows it to be fast-tracked through Congress and avoid the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate. 
 
A similar resolution passed the Senate late last year in a 56-41 vote. In addition to ending U.S. support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, the House-passed resolution, which cleared that chamber less than two weeks ago, also includes language stating that it is in the national security interest of the U.S. to combat anti-Semitism. 
 
The parliamentarian's decision won't ultimately derail a confrontation between Congress and Trump on Saudi Arabia, where tensions are still running high in the wake of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi's slaying late last year. 
 
Though the administration has stood by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, lawmakers largely believe he is responsible for the death of Khashoggi, who was a critic of the Saudi government. 
 
A spokesman for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Buttigieg says he doubts consulting work for insurer led to layoffs Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles MORE (I-Vt.), who supports the Yemen resolution, said the senator would be reintroducing the Senate's resolution from late last year, which required the administration to withdraw any troops in or impacting Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda. 
 
"We will reintroduce the clean version that we passed in the Senate last year and send it back to the House for a vote," Josh Miller-Lewis, Sanders's spokesman, told The Hill on Monday evening.
 
That resolution was viewed as privileged in the Senate and is expected to be able to pass again with only a simple majority instead of 60 votes. 
 
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Why the Democrats' impeachment drive is in trouble — and what Nancy Pelosi needs to do about it The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment MORE (D-Conn.), who along with Sanders and Lee co-sponsored the Senate resolution, said separately that supporters are aiming for the Senate's vote to take place next week, while acknowledging it could slide beyond that. 
 
If the resolution passes the Senate it would need to bounce to the House, which would have to hold a second vote on ending support for the Saudi military campaign because of the differences in the legislative language. 
 
The U.S.-Saudi relationship has been a point of contention between lawmakers and Trump, with the administration threatening to veto the Yemen resolution if it makes it to the president's desk.