The resolution states that only Congress has the authority to declare war and that Congress has not declared war against the Houthis in the Republic of Yemen.
Lawmakers have never before invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to stop a foreign conflict, but they are poised to do just that in the bid to cut off US support for a war that has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe.
President Obama tested the limits of the law in 2011 when he committed the U.S.to support a European-led aerial bombing campaign in Libya. The Trump administration declined to certify last month that the Saudis were undertaking efforts to reduce civilian casualties despite a congressional mandate do so as a condition for resuming United States assistance. Mike Lee (R-UT), and 18 Republicans in the House voted on a similar resolution last month. The measure passed with 54 for and 46 against. Saudi Arabia's lobbyists did indeed mobilize to try to quash these votes, but their efforts fell far short, in large part because of a mass grassroots activist mobilization over the last few years pushing Congress to act. "Not defense contractors. I'm proud to work with Bernie Sanders on the War Powers Resolution to end the civil war on Yemen", said U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, the point person in the House Democratic caucus for ending the war in Yemen.
"We should think twice about undermining those very partners whose cooperation we need for our own security", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.
"We should not use this specific vote on a specific policy decision as some proxy for all the Senate's broad feelings about foreign affairs. Concerns about Saudi human rights issues should be addressed with the administration and with Saudi officials".
The White House has threatened a veto, calling the measure "flawed" and saying it would harm bilateral relationships in the region and hurt Washington's ability to fight extremism.
Doubling down on the position that the executive branch, despite what the US Constitution clearly says, has unilateral war-making powers, a new statement was issued by President Trump's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) objecting to the Senate's vote on a challenge to the Yemen War. Bernard Sanders, a potential Trump 2020 opponent, who led the push for the move, flexing the War Powers Resolution.