Sanders withdraws Yemen resolution, will work on compromise with WH
Bernie Sanders clashed with the Biden administration regarding the War Powers Resolution in a Senate vote run-up which bans US support for the Saudi-led aggression in Yemen.
Liberal Senator Bernie Sanders and the White House clashed Tuesday regarding the War Powers Resolution in a Senate vote run-up that bans US support for the Saudi-led aggression in Yemen.
Sanders agreed to withdraw his resolution, asserting that he would start negotiations with the White House on compromise language.
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“I’m not going to ask for a vote tonight,” Sanders concluded. “I look forward to working with the administration who is opposed to this resolution and see if we can come up with something that is strong and effective. If we do not, I will be back.”
Republicans have also been growing resentful of Washington's conquests outside its borders - however, the current Republican leadership has expressed opposition to cutting down support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
The White House on Tuesday morning privately circulated "talking points" to create opposition against the resolution, that President Joe Biden's aides would recommend a veto if the resolution passes and that the administration was "strongly opposed" to it. The WH argued that voting for the resolution is unnecessary because large-scale hostilities have not been reignited in Yemen despite ceasefire breaches. The vote, according to them, would "complicate diplomacy."
“I’m dealing with this as we speak,” Sanders said in the early afternoon, alleging he knew of the administration's activities.
WH Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on Washington's position toward the resolution but acknowledged that the Biden administration was pushing for its own vision.
“We’re in touch with members of Congress on this. Thanks to our diplomacy which remains ongoing and delicate, the violence over nine months has effectively stopped,” she said.
Read next: Congressmen demand clarification on US role in Yemen
White House: Resolution is unnecessary
“The Administration strongly opposes the Yemen War Powers Resolution on a number of grounds, but the bottom line is that this resolution is unnecessary and would greatly complicate the intense and ongoing diplomacy to truly bring an end to the conflict,” the talking points read. “In 2019, diplomacy was absent and the war was raging. That is not the case now."
Tim Lenderking, Biden's Yemen envoy, warned that a failure to reach a new peace agreement would stand for a "return to war." The UN-brokered ceasefire signed earlier this year ended on October 2, as over 2.2 million Yemeni children are malnourished according to UNICEF statistics, with at least 11,000 children killed or maimed in the war.
Read more: 19,000,000+ Yemenis are facing hunger: OCHA
However, the WH argued that the resolution should be rejected because it goes beyond the one passed in 2019: “I know that many of you supported a similar war powers resolution in 2019,” the talking points read. “But the circumstances now are significantly different. And the text of the resolution itself is also different.”
The War Powers Act is a resolution that is classified as "privileged" in the Senate, meaning that whoever wants it enacted - in this case, the sponsor is Senator Bernie Sanders - can bring it to the Senate floor without the need for it to be approved by upper house's leadership once a certain amount of time passes. Enough time has now passed for Sanders' resolution.
In November, Biden approved a $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which comprises 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL) along with containers and support equipment, spare parts, US Government and contractor engineering, and technical support.
Saudi military purchases from US sources and firms are estimated at $63 billion since its aggression on Yemen began.
Read next: If US insists on aggression, Yemen will respond accordingly: Exclusive