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Bernie Sanders Wants the Senate to End "Unauthorized and Unconstitutional" US Aid to the Saudi Assault on Yemen

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From The Nation

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He has secured critical backing for a vote to block US support for attacks that are worsening a humanitarian crisis.


(Image by YouTube, Channel: euronews (in English))   Details   DMCA

Human Rights Watch warns that "Yemen is the world's largest humanitarian crisis. It stands on the brink of a famine years in the making: Half of its population, 14 million people, may starve if something does not change." The United States can foster change by ending all US support for the Saudi-led assault on the poorest country in the Arab world.

Speaker Paul Ryan and his allies in the House Republican Caucus have blocked a move by Congressman Ro Khanna to get the United States on the right side of history. But there is still a chance the Senate might do the right thing. And Bernie Sanders is determined to do everything in his power to make that happen.

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Earlier this year, the senator from Vermont tried unsuccessfully to force a Senate vote on his proposal to block continued US aid for the military missions of the Saudis in Yemen unless US involvement is authorized by Congress. The March attempt won 44 votes (including those of five Republicans).

In the final weeks in the 115th Congress, Sanders has renewed his drive to put the crisis in Yemen on the agenda, and the senator and his allies could get a vote on ending US aid to the Saudis this week. As The Washington Post reports, "The expected vote on a measure to invoke the War Powers Resolution -- likely to take place Wednesday or Thursday -- will be the first test of whether the slaying of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi has broken Congress's long-standing pattern of prioritizing the sanctity of the US-Saudi alliance through weapons sales and other cooperative military ventures over repeated, documented human rights violations."

The legislative maneuvering on behalf of Senate action been inspired by the combination of principle and practicality that so frequently motivates Sanders when it comes to global affairs. Though the senator is invariably portrayed in media accounts as a domestically focused economic populist, he has a long history of engagement with international human-rights issues and humanitarian concerns.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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