International Development News
Development News Edition

U.S. Senate defied Trump on Saudi ties over Khashoggi, Yeman war

U.S. Senate defied Trump on Saudi ties over Khashoggi, Yeman war
(Image Credit: Twitter)

The U.S. Congress will have a difficult time undermining the Trump administration's close ties with Saudi Arabia, despite a Senate vote this week to consider a resolution that would end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

On Wednesday, 14 of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely defy his wishes, joined Democrats to vote 63-37 to advance the measure, paving the way for a possible vote to pass it next week.

The unusual result underscored lawmakers' frustration with what they see as the Trump administration's inadequate response to the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate and the deepening humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

Senators from both parties have been increasingly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler who the CIA believes ordered the killing of his critic. Trump has stood by the prince.

But the parties broke almost immediately over how to move ahead. Democrats demanded a vote on the resolution as it stands, while some Republicans who voted "yes" said they wanted it amended, or that it would prompt the White House to act.

"What I'd love to see happen is to have the administration address it," Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Thursday.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Corker, one of the 14 Republican "yes" votes, said he was discussing a way ahead, including possible amendments, with Senate Republican leaders and Democrats.

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official who is now a scholar at the Wilson Center, said the Senate vote marked a "significant inflexion point" in U.S.-Saudi relations. However, he added, "The problem is that you've got to maintain a certain degree of momentum. The House isn't going to vote on this."

Even if the Senate passes the resolution, to become law it would have to also pass the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a majority until January. Democrats said they had no indication that the House Republican leaders would allow a vote.

Speaker Paul Ryan said at a Washington Post event on Thursday that he opposed the Senate measure. Republican leadership aides did not respond to requests for comment on whether they would allow a vote.

If the resolution does not become law, Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the foreign relations panel, said lawmakers could try to add legislation punishing Saudi Arabia to a spending bill that Congress must pass by Dec. 7 to avoid a federal government shutdown.

But that would need bipartisan support to pass, and the spending bill already faces tough hurdles. Trump has threatened to allow a shutdown to force Congress to give him billions of dollars to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

A Saudi resolution would likely pass the House when Democrats take control in January, after sweeping victories in November's mid-term elections. But Trump's Republicans will hold a larger majority in the new Senate, and many of his critics within the party, including Corker, will have retired.

Other things could also influence Congress. If special counsel Robert Mueller issues his report on Trump, Republicans might be less likely to vote against the president. Or there could be advances in Yemen peace talks, a point that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed in his remarks to senators shortly before their vote defying the administration.

(With inputs from agencies.)



'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

With Ayodhya verdict, CJI starts clearing high profile pending cases

Ending all the speculations, the Chief Justice of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi who is due to retire on November 17 decided to deliver the verdict in Ayodya dispute at 10.30 am on Saturday which is not a working day for the Supreme Court. This is ...

How partnerships and collaborations could enhance teacher training

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group shares her views on public private partnership and collaborations in education sector. She supports her propositions with her organisations success stories....

Fixed Test centers would facelift level of WTC in India

The venues for the test matches in India should be fixed so that World Test Championship matches remain fair....


Latest News

UPDATE 2-Khamenei backs Iran gasoline price hike, blames enemies for 'sabotage'

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday backed gasoline price increases that have sparked protests across Iran, blaming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies for sabotage, state television reported.Some peopl...

Third edition of Kochi Navy Marathon held

The third edition of the Kochi Navy Marathon was held here on Sunday with over 3,500 taking part. The event was organised by the Indian Navy as part of Navy Week activities. The main event-the 21-km Venduruthy Run was flagged off by Vice A...

Ailing Sharif to travel to London on Tuesday for medical treatment

Pakistans ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for London on Tuesday by an air ambulance for treatment after the Lahore High Court allowed him to travel abroad for four weeks for medical care. A two-member bench of the Lahor...

Next CJI Bobde part of historic verdicts like Ayodhya, Right to Privacy

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, who would take oath as the 47th Chief Justice of India on Monday, has decided several key cases and was part of the recent historic verdict that cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disput...

Give Feedback