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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) KhannaMedical supplies arriving in India amid surge in COVID-19 infections Overnight Health Care: US to share millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses with other countries | Biden speaks with Prime Minister Modi as COVID-19 surges in India US to share millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses with other countries 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 MassieOvernight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna Vaccine hesitancy among lawmakers slows return to normalcy on Capitol Hill Gaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 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 RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only Cheney at donor retreat says Trump's actions 'a line that cannot be crossed': report 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 JonesHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Georgia officials open inquiry into Trump efforts to overturn election results Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging unlimited super PAC fundraising MORE (N.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyLawmakers call on Biden to put billion toward coastal restoration Stop COVID unemployment benefits for prisoners and recoup billions in fraud READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results 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 PelosiBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July 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.”