Slotkin Votes To Remove U.S. Military Forces From Yemen
February 14, 2019
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin joined with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to vote in favor of a resolution aimed at withdrawing all U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabia-backed war in Yemen.
The resolution, which directs President Trump to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress, passed the Democratic-led House 248-177 with 18 Republicans also in support. It is seen by many as a rebuke of the Trump Administration’s support for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is seen by many Western nations as having ordered the killing in response to the journalist’s criticism of the Kingdom.
Slotkin, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said that in her time as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, “the Pentagon had already begun pulling back its support to the Saudi Air Force because they refused to improve targeting procedures in Yemen, even as it became clear they were hitting civilian targets.” The Holly Democrat added that the bill “severs our support for that kind of behavior while not restricting our own counter-terrorism missions focused on al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen. It is a long time coming, and represents a positive step forward to maintaining principled American engagement with our allies.”
The bill would remove U.S. military forces from Yemen and prohibit U.S. forces from supporting the ongoing Saudi air campaign, including through in-air refueling efforts. It directs the President to remove forces within 30 days, unless Congress authorizes a later withdrawal date or specifically authorizes the use of the Armed Forces. The Yemeni civil war has cost more than 10,000 lives, displaced millions of people, and sparked a cholera outbreak infecting more than a million Yemenis.
The Senate passed a similar measure in December, but it was blocked by the then-GOP controlled House. If the Senate sends this latest measure on to President Trump’s desk, it is widely expected that he will veto it. (JK)