House lawmakers push Yemen resolution as Senate nears vote

A bipartisan pair of congressmen is trying again to force a vote on U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war before the end of the year, as the Senate is poised to take similar action.

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Health Care: CDC links vitamin E oil to vaping illnesses | White House calls Pelosi drug price plan 'unworkable' | Dem offers bill for state-based 'Medicare for All' Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability Progressive House Democrat unveils bill to allow state-based 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Calif.) recently reintroduced a War Powers Resolution that would remove U.S. forces from hostilities in Yemen except to fight terrorism as allowed by the 2001 war authorization.

A Democratic aide said Khanna and Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieGOP lawmaker says newly-released Butina was jailed due to 'Russophobia' O'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Scalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms MORE (R-Ky.), the lead Republican co-sponsor, “will be pushing for floor action by the end of the year,” with Massie helping to whip Republican support.

A spokeswoman for Massie said the congressman is gathering signatures on a letter to send to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll MORE (R-Wis.) requesting a “clean vote” on the resolution.

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“We ask you to uphold the Constitution and the War Powers Act by allowing H. Con. Res. 142 to receive an up-or-down vote,” a draft of the letter says.

The letter has five co-signers so far: Republican Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Rod Blum (Iowa), 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 (N.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Trump official declines to detail plans if ObamaCare struck down | DEA unveils rule for opioid manufacturers | Republican tells Zuckerberg to allow anti-vax content Poll: Women more likely to say social media has negative effect on society Republican lawmaker tells Zuckerberg Facebook should allow anti-vaccine content MORE (Fla.).

Momentum for action on the civil war in Yemen, where the U.S. military is supporting a Saudi-led coalition, has been driven recently by lawmakers searching for a way to respond to the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Because the resolution invokes the War Powers Act, it is privileged, meaning Khanna could theoretically force a vote on it.

But Khanna has been stymied in his efforts before. Earlier this year, Khanna introduced the same resolution, but Republicans used a procedural move to strip it of its privileged status, effectively blocking a vote.

Asked whether Ryan will bring the latest resolution for a vote or strip it of its privileged status, spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email that “the House has already acted on this question.”

Now, though, the Senate is poised to pass a similar resolution. Late last month, the upper chamber voted 63-37 to advance the resolution.

This week, the Senate is expected to vote to proceed to the resolution, followed by a vote to limit amendments and then a vote on passage. Supporters and opponents of the resolution both think it has the 51 votes needed to pass.

The Democratic House aide said that if the resolution passes the Senate and “a lot of Republicans get on board,” then “we expect the House to follow suit.”

The House is also scheduled to receive a briefing on Saudi Arabia and Yemen on Thursday morning, which could drive support in the chamber. Senators emerged livid from similar briefing hours before they voted to advance their resolution.

Khanna and other House Democrats have previously said they plan to revive his resolution when their party controls the chamber in January. 

Asked at a news conference last week what Democrats could do next year, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Klobuchar: 'I have seen no reason why' Hunter Biden would need to testify Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' MORE (D-Calif.) cited the Khanna resolution and a separate resolution to end arms sales to the Saudis, but added “let's see after the briefing where we go.”