Yemen resolution picks up crucial support in Senate

Yemen resolution picks up crucial support in Senate
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A resolution that would force President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Carolina mayor denounces 'send her back' chant after Trump rally Judiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony Republican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract 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 CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip GOP chairman introduces bill to force 'comprehensive review' of US-Saudi relationship 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 FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrat Sherrod Brown torches Facebook at hearing: They 'broke journalism,' 'helped incite a genocide' House Democrat's bill would facilitate electric car chargers at all national parks MORE (D-Nev.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate passes .5B border bill, setting up fight with House 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.

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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 Sanders2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Cardi B posts message of support for Ilhan Omar #IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'send her back' MORE (I-Vt.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business 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 MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Trump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump directed officials to work to free rapper A$AP Rocky after arrest in Sweden: reports In Afghanistan, give peace a chance — and a lot of time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP 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 MurphyDemocratic Sen. Chris Murphy announces book on gun violence Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democrats look to demonize GOP leader 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 ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedDemocrats warm to idea of studying reparations Trump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Trump says US will not sell Turkey F-35s after Russian missile defense system purchase 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 CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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."