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) KhannaSanders campaign announces two women co-chairs after sexual harassment allegations Venezuela puts spotlight on Rubio Overnight Defense: House votes to end US support for Saudis in Yemen | Vote puts Trump in veto bind | Survey finds hazards in military housing | Senators offer new bill on Russia sanctions 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 MassieHouse pays tribute to Walter Jones House approves motion condemning anti-Semitism Lawmakers push to end shutdowns — for good 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 RyanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump 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 JonesHouse pays tribute to Walter Jones GOP leader presses Trump to agree to border deal House passes resolution honoring Walter Jones MORE (N.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyHouse lawmakers push Yemen resolution as Senate nears vote GOP lawmaker says rocks falling into ocean to blame for rising sea levels 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Coast Guard lieutenant accused of planning domestic terrorism denied bail Inviting Kim Jong Un to Washington 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.”