President Donald Trump decided late Tuesday to continue America’s complicity in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by vetoing the historic Yemen War Powers resolution.
“Donald Trump’s veto today is reckless and shameful,” Stephen Miles, director of Win Without War, said in a statement. “Sadly, it is also to be expected from a president who has pretended to be a champion of peace while actually expanding every war he inherited and putting us on a collision course to war with Iran.”
Trump’s veto—the second of his presidency—came nearly two weeks after the House of Representatives passed the Yemen measure with an overwhelming bipartisan vote, marking the first time Congress has sent a War Powers resolution to the president’s desk.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who helped lead the House effort to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen, denounced Trump’s veto on Twitter.
“With Trump’s veto of Bernie Sanders’ and my War Powers resolution, which passed with bipartisan support in Congress, he is risking the lives of millions of Yemeni civilians to famine, deadly airstrikes, and the war crimes of the Saudi regime,” Khanna wrote. “We must override his veto.”
In a separate tweet, Khanna challenged Trump’s claim in his veto message that the Yemen measure represented “an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken [his] constitutional authorities.”
The War Powers Resolution to end U.S. involvement in Yemen has nothing to do with weakening Trump’s constitutional authorities.
It’s about both houses of Congress taking back our authority outlined in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to decide on matters of war & peace.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) April 17, 2019
Trump’s veto was immediately praised by Anwar Gargash, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key Saudi ally in the years-long assault on Yemen.
According to a report published by the humanitarian group Save the Children last November, 85,000 Yemeni children under the age of five have died of malnutrition over the past three years, as the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition has relentlessly bombed the impoverished nation and restricted access to food and medicine.
“The people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who led the Senate effort to cut off U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia.
Amid the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Peace Action executive director Jon Rainwater urged Congress to “keep the pressure up and continue the fight to stop U.S. complicity.”
“They must pull out the stops to confront this president who thinks starving millions of Yemenis is a price worth paying for high arms industry profits,” Rainwater said in a statement. “Congress should work to block arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition and cut off funding for U.S. military involvement in Yemen. They should raise hell in the run-up to the 2020 election and lay each new casualty of this war at Trump’s feet where they belong.”