In a close vote of 54-46, the Senate passed the SJ Res 7 on Wednesday. The Joint Resolution calls for the end of US military involvement in the Yemen War, noting that no such involvement was ever authorized by Congress.
Debate on the resolution, as in the past, centered on arguments that the US involvement isn’t technically a war in and of itself, and that ending the war would be bad for Israel. On the other side, the focus was heavily on Saudi war crimes that the US has been supporting.
The resolution came with an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which seeks to ensure that no language in the bill inadvertently authorizes any other wars. An alternative amendment by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), aiming to keep the US involved in the name of saving American civilians from conceivable missile fire, narrowly failed.
This is the second time in a month that Congress has voted on a War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War, with the House having had such a vote in mid-February. The House will still have to reconcile itself to another vote, however, because Senate leadership prevented debate on the House version and forced war opponents to start with a fresh challenge.
The House version had previously had an amendment praising Israel and opposing BDS slipped in at the last minute, and Senate leaders argued that made it no longer a War Powers Act resolution, but rather an Israel resolution, and one which lacked the guarantee to get a floor vote.
It’s not clear when the House intends to take up this matter again, but the Senate’s version as passed is relatively clean, and probably won’t run into the same problem in the House. Despite that, the close vote means that there probably won’t be enough support to override a threatened President Trump veto.