After substantial efforts on Capitol Hill, U.S. senators have failed to garner enough votes to overrule President Trump’s veto on the Yemen conflict.
In mid-April, Trump issued the second veto of his presidency, this time regarding a congressional resolution that would have sought to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
“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 a statement to the Senate.
Lawmakers scrambled to gather enough voting power to override Trump’s veto on the Yemen conflict. But alas, their efforts fell short. The vote was 53 to 45, just below the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. This despite a handful of Trump’s fellow Republicans joining Democrats in backing the so-called War Powers Resolution Act (WPA). The WPA would have had broader implications beyond just Yemen. The Act would have been a limiting force against the president’s ability to send troops into action without congressional authorization.
While the actual vote may have been a failure as far as opponents of the war are concerned, there may be another strategic realm for Democrats. Supporters of the resolution have argued that any vote, even if it fails, helps keep attention on the war in Yemen and pressure on the administration to try to bring an end to America’s involvement in the country. Indeed the war in Yemen —perpetuated by the feud between the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemen government and an Iranian state backing the rebels— has produced the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, making U.S. involvement a difficult sell for both the public and Congress.