This week, the Senate is to engage in a floor debate and vote on a War Powers Act challenge on the legality of US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The war was never authorized by Congress, and while that and the many war crimes were enough to force some challenges in the past, this week’s is the first liable to pass.
But while all the same war crime issues are there, worse than ever, the vote is less about the Yemen War itself this time around than a referendum on US-Saudi relations, after the Saudi kingdom murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Despite the CIA having “high confidence” that the Saudi crown prince was behind this murder of this US resident, the Trump Administration has defended the kingdom, and the prince, and argued it isn’t worth risking US-Saudi ties, or lucrative arms deals, over the killing of one journalist.
For Senate leaders who have historically had little interest in Yemen war crimes, anger at the Saudi Crown Prince getting away with murder has become the new driving force of this vote, and has made it for them a challenge to the White House decision to do nothing over Khashoggi’s death.
Those wishing to call their senators should do so in the next few days before the matter comes up for vote. You can do this by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 or by finding individual contact information here.
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