The Senate Can’t Hide From Debating U.S. Assistance to the Saudi War in Yemen

Last week, the Senate debated a resolution proposed by Senators Sanders, Lee, and Murphy under the War Powers Resolution (WPR) to end U.S. assistance to the Saudis in their war against the Houthis in Yemen, unless and until Congress specifically authorized such assistance. Although the resolution was stopped, 55 to 44, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while urging defeat of the resolution, promised that the Committee would hold a hearing on U.S. assistance to the Saudis. While last week’s debate was caught up in issues concerning the applicability the WPR, committee consideration should focus on whether to continue U.S. support for the war.

If Sen. Corker follows through on his promise, committee members will have the opportunity to debate and decide whether continued assistance by the U.S. makes sense. They can, and should, do so without getting ensnared in what is a separate issue about the applicability of the WPR to this situation. The opponents of such assistance can draft a straightforward prohibition on U.S. assistance without reference to the WPR.

This article was originally published in Just Security.