Quantcast
Connect with us

Senate defied Trump on Saudi ties, but may falter in next steps

Published

on

The U.S. Congress will have a difficult time undermining the Trump administration’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, despite a Senate vote this week to consider a resolution that would end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

On Wednesday, 14 of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely defy his wishes, joined Democrats to vote 63-37 to advance the measure, paving the way for a possible vote to pass it next week.

ADVERTISEMENT

The unusual result underscored lawmakers’ frustration with what they see as the Trump administration’s inadequate response to the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate and the deepening humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

Senators from both parties have been increasingly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler who the CIA believes ordered the killing of his critic. Trump has stood by the prince.

But the parties broke almost immediately over how to move ahead. Democrats demanded a vote on the resolution as it stands, while some Republicans who voted “yes” said they wanted it amended, or that it would prompt the White House to act.

“What I’d love to see happen is to have the administration address it,” Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Corker, one of the 14 Republican “yes” votes, said he was discussing a way ahead, including possible amendments, with Senate Republican leaders and Democrats.

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official who is now a scholar at the Wilson Center, said the Senate vote marked a “significant inflection point” in U.S.-Saudi relations. However, he added, “The problem is that you’ve got to maintain a certain degree of momentum. The House isn’t going to vote on this.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Even if the Senate passes the resolution, to become law it would have to also pass the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a majority until January. Democrats said they had no indication that the House Republican leaders would allow a vote.

Speaker Paul Ryan said at a Washington Post event on Thursday that he opposed the Senate measure. Republican leadership aides did not respond to requests for comment on whether they would allow a vote.

If the resolution does not become law, Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the foreign relations panel, said lawmakers could try to add legislation punishing Saudi Arabia to a spending bill that Congress must pass by Dec. 7 to avoid a federal government shutdown.

ADVERTISEMENT

But that would need bipartisan support to pass, and the spending bill already faces tough hurdles. Trump has threatened to allow a shutdown to force Congress to give him billions of dollars to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

A Saudi resolution would likely pass the House when Democrats take control in January, after sweeping victories in November’s mid-term elections. But Trump’s Republicans will hold a larger majority in the new Senate, and many of his critics within the party, including Corker, will have retired.

Other things could also influence Congress. If special counsel Robert Mueller issues his report on Trump, Republicans might be less likely to vote against the president. Or there could be advances in Yemen peace talks, a point that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed in his remarks to senators shortly before their vote defying the administration.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Mary Millikenand Leslie Adler

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s threat to ‘hereby’ force manufacturers to do his bidding stomped by legal analyst

Published

on

President Donald Trump is claiming extraordinary powers in his escalating trade war with China.

On Friday, Trump demanded that American companies look for alternatives to China.

"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted.

Of course, the president has no power to order such a thing.

Trump then announced massive tariffs on China, citing the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Creationist Ark Encounter museum accused of stiffing local schools by underpaying property taxes

Published

on

On Saturday, Friendly Atheist reported that the Grant County Board of Education is filing a lawsuit alleging the creationist "Ark Encounter" theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, received a property valuation way lower than it should have for the purposes of tax assessment.

The museum, which is shaped like a giant replica of Noah's Ark and is full of exhibits explaining supposed historical details of the Flood — including models of cavemen fighting dinosaurs — was assessed at $46 million in 2017. But the Board of Education, combining Ark Encounter's capital investment disclosures, land value, and ticket sales, that the property is actually worth $130 million.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘He’s a child going to a playdate’: Trump’s inability to talk to world leaders mocked by MSNBC guest

Published

on

On MSNBC Saturday, former professor and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed blasted President Donald Trump's inability to behave like a world leader at the G7 summit, or to have meaningful dialogues with the heads of allied countries.

"Abdul, do you think there is any chance that Donald Trump gets through this weekend without any drama?" asked anchor Alex Witt.

"Well, look, if you used the last week as any indication, I think it's no chance," said El-Sayed. "We're talking about the president of the United States as if he's a child going to a playdate."

"Honestly, we have to have a serious conversation about the fact that he's just headlong pitched our economy down the tubes," continued El-Sayed. "He's been doing it because of a spat that he has with a leader in China. And we're talking about whether or not he's going to have a good time at the G7. This is the president of the United States. We have to treat him as such and we have to be asking about whether or not we are willing to get serious about the conversation that we need to be having about what's going to happen in our future."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image