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Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war

17 April 2019

President Trump on Tuesday vetoed a joint resolution calling on the U.S.to end military assistance to Saudi-led forces fighting in Yemen's ongoing civil war, calling it "an unnecessary, risky attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and courageous service members, both today and in the future".

2020 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders expressed a similar sentiment, writing: 'I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bi-partisan resolution to end USA involvement in the horrific war in Yemen.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and fearless service members, both today and in the future", Mr Trump said in the veto message.

The four-year-long civil war in Yemen, which pits the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels backed by Iran, has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what the United Nations calls the world's most dire humanitarian crisis, with the country on the brink of starvation.

The US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

"There are no United States military personnel in Yemen commanding, participating in, or accompanying military forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in hostilities in or affecting Yemen", he said in his veto message. With the resolution, members of Congress were acting on their concerns about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. Senator Bernie Sanders, a lead author of the Yemen resolution and a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, said that "the people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs".

President Trump just issued the second veto of his presidency to block Congress
Trump Issues Second Veto Of His Presidency

The fighting in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, has left millions suffering from food shortages and medical care shortages.

The veto - the second in Trump's presidency - was expected.

House approval of the resolution came earlier this month on a 247-175 vote.

Had Trump signed the resolution, it would have affected USA support, which includes refueling Saudi aircraft in the region and aerial targeting efforts. In the Senate the vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats. Vetoing the measure is an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue", said International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband. It also represented the latest instance of Congress's challenging Trump's decisions as commander in chief.

Trump used his first veto in March to shut down a bipartisan resolution condemning his declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a southern border wall.

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Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war