SPONSORED:

Yemen resolution picks up crucial support in Senate

Yemen resolution picks up crucial support in Senate
© Getty Images

A resolution that would force President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's military actions in Yemen is picking up support even after top administration officials lobbied against the measure during a closed-door briefing. 

Multiple senators who previously voted against the same resolution in March emerged from the meeting saying they would support taking it up this time, underscoring the growing frustration with the Saudi government on Capitol Hill. 

Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Romney calls for Senate to pass sanctions on Putin over Navalny poisoning Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster MORE (D-Del.) said he would support the resolution, saying he was dissatisfied by the briefing and calling it a "significant mistake" not to send CIA Director Gina Haspel.

"I think it is more important that the United States continue to demonstrate to the world that we value a free press, that we hold our close allies to high standards and that we will continue to stand for the basic values that define the United States," Coons said. 

Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader MORE (R-Ariz.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoWhy are millions still flowing into the presidential inauguration? Transition of power: Greatness meets infamy Overnight Defense: Pelosi confers with top general on preventing Trump nuclear strike | Biden fills out his national security team MORE (D-Nev.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal MORE (D-N.J.) also said they would vote in favor of the resolution. Like Coons, they each voted to table the same resolution in March.

ADVERTISEMENT


Menendez called Haspel's absence a "cover-up" and "outrageous," arguing the chamber was being stonewalled. 

"I heard nothing convincing as it relates to why we would not proceed with the Sanders-Lee and others resolution," he said, referring to Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Sanders's inauguration look promptly gets a bobblehead Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE (I-Vt.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Republicans wrestle over removing Trump Lawmakers, leaders offer condolences following the death of Capitol Police officer MORE (R-Utah), two sponsors of the bill. 

The growing support for the resolution is a blow to the administration, which has launched an eleventh-hour effort to squash the resolution. 

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Biden inaugurated as 46th president | Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief | Senate confirms Biden's Intel chief Trump administration official Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief Top Senate Democrat backs waiver for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoBiden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN China sanctions Pompeo and more than two dozen US figures China calls Pompeo 'doomsday clown' after its treatment of Uighurs labeled genocide MORE spoke with senators during a briefing Wednesday, warning that if the Senate moved forward with the resolution it would undercut negotiations with Saudi Arabia. 

"I know all too well the difficulty in reconciling human aspirations with war's grim reality; but I also recognize that we cannot limit civilian casualties or advance the peace effort commencing early next month in Sweden by disengaging," Mattis said, according to prepared remarks.

The resolution would require Trump to pull all troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days. It’s expected to get an initial vote as soon as Wednesday afternoon. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Democrats torn on impeachment trial timing Senate Democrats call on Biden to immediately invoke Defense Production Act MORE (D-Conn.), another sponsor of the resolution, stopped short of predicting success but argued the administration’s briefing didn’t win over any concerned senators. 

"I'm more confident after that briefing that we have the votes," Murphy told reporters.

The same resolution fell six votes short in March. The support coming out of the briefing, as well as Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedOvernight Defense: Biden inaugurated as 46th president | Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief | Senate confirms Biden's Intel chief Top Senate Democrat backs waiver for Biden Pentagon nominee Austin pledges to empower Pentagon civilians MORE’s (D-R.I.) announcement on Tuesday night that he will support the bill puts the resolution on the precipice of having enough votes to at least be brought up on the floor.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (R-Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, predicted that, absent action from the administration, the Senate would vote to take up the resolution in part because it's amendable, meaning senators could change it on the Senate floor.

"The Yemen resolution is amendable. so the first vote is just to get on it," he told reporters. "We're very likely to support a vehicle that allows us to somehow or another address this."