President Trump has picked up his veto pen once more to strike down a measure which would end the United States’ involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
The action marks only the second time Trump has issued a veto in his administration after previously vetoing a bill which would have ended his national emergency declaration at the southern border, the Daily Caller reports.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in his justification of the veto, NBC News reports. According to the report, Congress lacks the votes to override the veto.
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,” Trump added, via Politico.
He continued: “My administration is currently accelerating negotiations to end our military engagement in Afghanistan and drawing down troops in Syria, where we recently succeeded in eliminating 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate. Congressional engagement in those endeavors would be far more productive than expending time and effort trying to enact this unnecessary and dangerous resolution that interferes with our foreign policy with respect to Yemen.”
Here’s more, from NBC News:
The United States provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
House approval of the resolution came earlier this month on a 247-175 vote. The Senate vote last month was 54-46.
Democrat and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel voted in favor of the bill to end U.S. involvement in the Yemeni conflict, saying the situation “demands moral leadership,” NBC News reports.
Similarly, Democratic California Congressman Ro Khanna said the resolution could be used to help Trump end conflicts around the world, the Daily Caller reports.
“[The resolution] is one way for the president to make good on his view to get out of these endless wars,” Khanna said per the report. “This would be the first president in American history to ever sign a war powers resolution. That would be a big deal that he’s recognizing the constitutional role for Congress to limit these foreign interventions.”
“The Yemen War Powers Resolution was a bipartisan, bicameral effort to end the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and supported by some of the president’s most trusted Republican allies,” Khanna continued via Politico.
Republican Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul acknowledged the need for change in Yemen but said a change to the War Powers Resolution could negatively affect U.S. military agreements with more than 100 countries.