Senate opposes White House on Saudi relations
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/29/18, 11:34 am
The Senate voted 63-37 Wednesday to move forward with a resolution demanding the United States withdraw support for the Saudi-led war on rebels in Yemen. The move signals the Senate’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s policy of keeping relations with the kingdom on an even keel after the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis appealed to lawmakers Wednesday to leave the issue alone. Pompeo said the United States was close to brokering a cease-fire between the Saudi-backed government and Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. But senators on both sides of the aisle say the United States should do more to punish Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s killing. The United States has sanctioned 17 people, but Trump has said no further action is planned. Wednesday’s vote sets up floor debate on the resolution next week, but Senate leaders say they probably won’t call for a full vote on the measure before Congress adjourns Dec. 14.
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