U.S. President Donald Trump sent back to Congress without Executive Approval, the joint resolution passed by Senate last March 13, 2019 under S.J. 7. The joint resolution bars Trump as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces from approving further provision of military assistance, to the Saudi-backed Arab Coalition Forces waging war against the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen.
In a letter addressed to the United States Senate, Donald Trump asserts that the resolution is unnecessary, since there are no U.S. military personnel in-charge or participating in the ongoing hostilities in Yemen. Yet he also stated that the resolution presents a
”dangerous attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities.”
S.J. 7: An Unprecedented Bill in the History of U.S. Congress
S.J. 7 of the 116th Congress is a resolution that puts an end to U.S. military support for the Arab-backed coalition forces that intervened in Yemen’s affairs since 2015. The intervention aims to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government, taken over by the Iran-aligned Houthi. The resolution includes barring arms sales and sharing of intelligence.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, calls the joint resolution historic, because this is the first time in 45 years that Congress has taken measures to stop U.S. forces from participating in an unauthorized war. Senator Sanders, a long-serving independent from Vermont who later sided with the Democrats said,
”For many years, under Democratic presidents, under Republican presidents, Congress has abdicated its responsibility and allowed presidents to take our people into war without congressional authority,”
Although it is true that there are no U.S. military personnel actively taking part in the long running civil war in Yemen, the U.S. has been refuelling Arab Coalition aircrafts blamed for airstrikes that have killed thousands of Yemen civilians.
Last December 2018, Timothy Lenderking, Trump Administration’s Deputy Asst. Sec. for Arabian Gulf Affairs gave assurance to the United Arab Emirates in a security forum, by stating
“We (Trump Administration) believe that the support for the coalition is necessary. It sends a wrong message if we discontinue our support.”
Still, after Congress passed S.J. 7 last month, the U.S. military has ceased refueling Arab Coalition aircrafts.