Bernie Sanders has withdrawn his bill to end US support for the Saudi war on Yemen following reports that the Biden administration was working to tank the resolution, with White House aids reportedly saying they’d recommend the president veto it.
Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Tuesday night withdrew his request to vote on the Yemen War Powers Resolution that would end US support for the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen, citing White House opposition to the bill.
Sanders said on the Senate floor that he was informed ahead of the scheduled vote of the administration’s opposition to the legislation, meaning President Biden would veto the resolution. The Intercept reported earlier in the day that The White House was pressuring senators to vote against the bill, and Democrats came out in opposition to Sanders’ resolution earlier on Tuesday, including Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA).
Sanders’ justification for not holding the vote was that the administration claimed it would work with Congress on ending the war in Yemen. He said the White House wanted to “work with us on crafting language that would be mutually acceptable” and insisted if that didn’t happen, he would resume his efforts to end the war through a resolution.
But even if the White House really wants to engage with Congress on the issue, or if Sanders chooses to reintroduce the resolution, the plan will take time, which Yemenis don’t have. There has been a cessation in violence in Yemen, with no Saudi airstrikes since March, but there has been a recent uptick in fighting on the ground.
It’s probably also worth noting that this administration has been consistently lying about its intentions to end this war, with Biden campaigning on the promise to bring peace to Yemen and make a “pariah” of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, then turning around and keeping the war going while greeting the crown prince with a friendly fistbump ahead of a meeting where the two leaders coordinated their governments’ continued intimacy.
“Today, I withdrew from consideration by the U.S. Senate my War Powers Resolution after the Biden administration agreed to continue working with my office on ending the war in Yemen,” Sanders said on Twitter. “Let me be clear. If we do not reach agreement, I will, along with my colleagues, bring this resolution back for a vote in the near future and do everything possible to end this horrific conflict.”
“At which time the House, under GOP control, will block your efforts,” former congressman Justin Amash replied. “But you know that already. As does the Biden administration, which is why they don’t want you to pass this joint resolution now, when all the pressure is on the president, because his party currently controls.”
“What I’m acknowledging is that both Rs and Ds in government are addicted to war,” Amash added. “They’re playing a game. When Trump was president, everyone knew he wouldn’t sign a Yemen joint resolution, so it passed Congress. Biden has to pretend he’d sign it, so he needs Congress to block it.”