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House lawmakers introduce bill to end US support in Yemen civil war

House lawmakers introduce bill to end US support in Yemen civil war
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Two dozen House lawmakers on Wednesday officially introduced a War Powers resolution to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen's civil war.

"One year later, the bloodshed continues with widespread destruction and disease contributing to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. U.S.-fueled planes continue to drop U.S.-made bombs on innocent victims,” the resolution's lead sponsor, Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill Expiring benefits raise economic stakes of stalled stimulus talks Overnight Defense: Pentagon IG to audit use of COVID-19 funds on contractors | Dems optimistic on blocking Trump's Germany withdrawal | Obama slams Trump on foreign policy MORE (D-Calif.), said in a statement Wednesday.

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“This time around, our coalition to end the war has expanded and the call for withdrawing U.S. involvement is louder,” he added. Khanna tried to force a vote on a similar resolution last year.

Under the War Powers Act, the resolution becomes “privileged,” allowing lawmakers to force a vote on it.

Khanna and a group of 10 House Democrats, including the House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Armed Services chairman unsold on slashing defense budget | Democratic Senate report details 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy | Administration approves .8B Taiwan arms sales Democratic House chairman trusts Pentagon won't follow 'unlawful orders' on election involvement Democratic chairman 'unconvinced' by arguments to slash defense budget, but open to debate MORE (D-Wash.), previously announced their intention to introduce the resolution earlier this month.

The resolution introduced Wednesday gained support from more top Democrats, including House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTop Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Md.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump, Biden set to meet in final debate | Explicit Fort Bragg tweets were sent by account administrator | China threatens retaliation over Taiwan arms sale Is Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden? Overnight Defense: Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed, 'feeling really good' after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches MORE (D-N.Y.).

Two Republicans, Reps. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas GOP lawmaker praises Kyle Rittenhouse's 'restraint' for not emptying magazine during shooting MORE (R-Ky.) and Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesExperts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge Stacey Abrams group files emergency motion to stop Georgia voting roll purge MORE (R-N.C.), are also co-sponsoring. The pair are typically outliers in their party on foreign policy.

The United States supports a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. U.S. support includes aerial refueling, intelligence sharing and arms sales.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting US critical facilities with destructive malware Trump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel MORE allowed U.S. refueling to continue by certifying to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking steps to protect civilians, alleviate the humanitarian crisis and end the war.

Congressional opposition to U.S. involvement in the war has grown as the civilian death toll has mounted in attacks largely blamed on coalition airstrikes. On Tuesday, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project reported that civilian deaths have seen a 164 percent increase since June.

“The impact of the Saudi-coalition’s actions on the dire humanitarian crisis is undeniable,” Smith said in a statement Wednesday. “The U.S. should be aggressively pushing a peaceful solution to end this civil war instead of supporting the Saudi-led coalition military campaign that has only destabilized the crisis further. We must make it clear that U.S. should not be choosing sides in this civil war while the people of Yemen continue to suffer.”

Leadership resisted bringing Khanna's War Powers resolution to a vote last year, despite its privilege status. Khanna eventually negotiated with Democratic and Republican leadership to instead get a vote on a non-binding resolution that passed. The resolution called U.S. military involvement in the war unauthorized.

In introducing Wednesday's resolution, Khanna said he was confident that outcome won’t happen again.

“I am confident the House Republican leadership will allow this resolution to come to a vote,” he said, “and that members of the House will hear from their constituents in support of our position against this unauthorized war contributing to Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe.”

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