House GOP blocks lawmakers from forcing Yemen war votes for rest of year

House Republicans have officially blocked lawmakers from forcing a vote on all resolutions for the remainder of the year that attempt to use the War Powers Act to cut off U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

The move came during a vote on a rule for floor debate of the farm bill. The rule passed on a largely party-line 206-203 vote.

Five Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the rule, while 18 Republicans voted against the rule.

Tucked into the bottom of the rule is provision that says privilege “shall not apply during the remainder of the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress to a concurrent resolution introduced pursuant to … the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544) with respect to Yemen."

Privilege is what allows lawmakers to force votes, meaning the rule effectively dooms any chances of the House voting on the issue at all this year.

The House move comes as the Senate is poised to approve a resolution that uses the War Powers Act to force the withdrawal any U.S. troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days, unless they are fighting al Qaeda.

The Senate resolution picked up considerable momentum as lawmakers searched for a way to respond to Saudi Arabia’s killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and rebuke President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's handling of the issue.

Supporters and opponents of the Senate resolution alike are predicting it has the 51 votes needed to pass when it comes for a vote later Wednesday.

House leaders also received a CIA briefing on the Khashoggi killing earlier Wednesday. The full House is expected to receive a broader briefing on Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

“We’re going to have a classified briefing tomorrow that will further allow debate based upon the facts of the case,” House Rules Committee Chairman Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsHillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Lawmaker sees political payback in fight over 'deepfakes' measure | Tech giants to testify at hearing on 'censorship' claims | Google pulls the plug on AI council Lawmaker alleges political payback in failed 'deepfakes' measure As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges MORE (R-Texas) said on the floor Wednesday. “We will be here all next week and if the facts of the case warrant, we will address the issue then.”

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHouse to test Trump's veto pen on Saudi arms sales Sanders campaign vents frustration with media, polls Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses MORE (D-Calif.) recently reintroduced his war powers resolution for Yemen with the hope that Senate passage with Republican support could pressure House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Trump fans the flames of white grievance Ex-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report MORE (R-Wis.) to allow a vote. Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-Ky.) was helping gather Republican support.

On Wednesday, Khanna called the move to strip privilege from all Yemen war powers resolutions “unprecedented.”

“Speaker [Paul] Ryan [(R-Wis.)] is preventing Congress from conducting our constitutional duty and once again, breaking the rules of the House,” he said in a statement.

Massie added on the House floor that the move “violates both the Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973.”

“Just when you thought Congress couldn’t get any swampier,” he said, “we continue to exceed even the lowest expectation.”

--Updated at 2:35 p.m.