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U.S. lawmakers seek to force Trump decision on Saudi Yemen war

WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers said on Wednesday they expect Congress will pass a resolution ending U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, which would force President Donald Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency in order to continue supporting the Saudi-led coalition.
Republican and Democratic senators and representatives said on Wednesday they were re-introducing a war powers resolution that passed the Senate by 56-41 in December, a rebuke of Trump amid anger at Saudi Arabia not just over civilian deaths in Yemen, but also the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.The lawmakers - an alliance of progressive Democrats and Republican constitutional conservatives - deplored the "humanitarian disaster" in Yemen but also said they wanted Congress to reassert its constitutional authority to decide whether the United States should be involved in military conflict.
"That decision has never been debated and discussed and voted on and approved by Congress," Republican Senator Mike Lee, one of the measure's sponsors, told a news conference.
The United States has supported the Saudi-led air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen with mid-air refueling support, intelligence and targeting assistance.
Opponents of the resolution are reluctant to risk disrupting the strategic U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, seen as an essential counterweight in the Middle East to Iran, arch-enemy of close U.S. ally Israel.
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