The US Senate delivered a rare double rebuke to US President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia on Thursday, voting to end US military support for the war in Yemen and blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The votes were largely symbolic because to become law the resolutions would have to pass the House of Representatives, whose Republican leaders have blocked any legislation intended to rebuke the Saudis.
In a historic move, Senators voted 56-41 to end US military support for the Saudi Arabian-led campaign in Yemen.
It was the first time either chamber of Congress had backed a resolution to withdraw US forces from a foreign military engagement under the War Powers Act. That law, passed in 1973 during the Vietnam War, limits the president’s ability to commit US forces to potential hostilities without congressional approval.
Seven of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Senate Democrats to back the measure.
Immediately after the Yemen vote, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s murder and insisting that Saudi Arabia hold accountable anyone responsible for his death.
“Unanimously, the United States Senate has said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is a strong statement. I think it speaks to the values that we hold dear,” Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said.
Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government, and the prince. He promised to veto the war powers resolution. The White House declined comment on the joint resolution beyond pointing to his previous veto threat.
But backers of the resolutions, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, promised to press ahead.