Washington — In a sharp rebuke to the Trump administration, the House passed a bipartisan resolution that would limit American military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition waging a bloody war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The bill, which represents an extraordinary step to curtail the White House's war powers, denounced the four-year conflict in the Arabian peninsula that has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and led to widespread food shortages.
"If this is not a wake up call for the Saudis I don't know what would be," progressive California Congressman Ro Khanna said before the vote.
The resolution — which passed by a 248 to 177 vote — has garnered bipartisan support on Capitol Hill in part because many lawmakers are angry at the White House for refusing to issue a report on whether the Saudi royal family was responsible for the gruesome murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashogghi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. The administrationstemming from the Global Magnitsky Act, which gave President Trump 120 days to make a determination and state whether the U.S. would sanction anyone deemed responsible for the murder.
The bill will now head to the Senate. A similarpassed the Republican-controlled chamber during the last Congress by a 56 to 41 vote when seven Republican senators broke with the White House and crossed the aisle to vote with their Democratic colleagues.
Two weeks ago, the White House issued a veto threat against the resolution, saying in a statement of administration policy that the "premise of the joint resolution is flawed" and that U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen is "limited."
Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.