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) KhannaCongress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Is Congress too afraid to fight Big Pharma? Democrats probing whether groups booked Trump hotel rooms to earn president's favor: report 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 SmithTop Democrats warn against withdrawing from treaty that allows observation flights over Russia This year, let's cancel the Nobel Prize in economics Pentagon space agency to request .6 billion over five years: report 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 HoyerThis week: Tensions flare over Schiff, impeachment inquiry House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Scalise, Cole introduce resolution to change rules on impeachment MORE (D-Md.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan House chairman joins with European counterparts to slam Trump's Syria withdrawal Pelosi, delegation make unannounced trip to Afghanistan MORE (D-N.Y.).

Two Republicans, Reps. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Scalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms Airports already have plenty of infrastructure funding MORE (R-Ky.) and Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesRepublican Greg Murphy wins special election in NC's 3rd District Early voting extended in NC counties impacted by Dorian ahead of key House race The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina special election poses test for GOP ahead of 2020 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 PompeoDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Mulvaney faces uncertain future after public gaffes 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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