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Senate passes resolutions condemning Saudi Arabia, crown prince over Khashoggi murder


A majority of senators endorsed withdrawing support from Saudi-backed war in Yemen

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The United States Senate sent a strong message to Saudi Arabia and its crown prince on Thursday, passing two resolutions: 1, a bipartisan resolution to withdraw American support from the Saudi-backed war in Yemen, and 2, a unanimous resolution condemning the kingdom's involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What are the details?

A joint resolution led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called for the "removal of United States armed forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress." The measure passed 56-41.

Republicans Susan Collins (Maine), Steve Daines (Mont.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Todd Young (Ind.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jerry Moran (Kans.) and Lee voted in favor of the resolution, along with all 49 Senate Democrats. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) abstained from voting on the measure.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told Politico that the resolution's passage was "the Senate's first response to the Saudi royal family, and to the Trump administration." He added that "the disaster in Yemen is so appalling, and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi so wicked, so repulsive, that no amount of money, no amount of oil, and no amount of lies can obscure it."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) offered a separate resolution "holding Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post." The measure passed unanimously.

Following the vote on his resolution, Corker was quoted by CNN as declaring that, "Unanimously, the United States Senate has said that the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is a strong statement...I think it speaks to the values that we hold dear, the rest of this resolution does. I'm glad the Senate is speaking with one voice unanimously towards this end."

Anything else?

Passage of the Sanders-Lee-Murphy resolution is largely symbolic, according to Reuters, given that the House of Representatives is not expected to take it up this year. The White House has threatened to veto the measure if it were to reach the president's desk.

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