Mar 16, 2019, 7:29 PM
News Code: 83245584
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'US Congress Yemen war resolution revives powers'

New York, March 16, IRNA - The US Congress' resolution urging President Donald Trump Administration to end its support in the Saudi-led war on Yemen is very significant, an American journalist said.

“It’s basically an express limitation on the president's power to get the US involved in a war,” Inside Arabia Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Myers told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Under the U.S. Constitution, it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the U.S. President. The journalist said that this is the first time Congress has issued a War Powers Resolution to limit presidential action since Congress first passed the War Powers Act of 1973 in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

“So, historically it’s quite significant in a war that is going on for five years although the US is not combatant, that is, it doesn’t have troops on the ground, but it clearly has arms and bombs and lends practical assistance to the Saudi-led coalition,” she added.

The Senate voted on Thursday to end the US support for the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, bringing Congress one step closer to an unprecedented rebuke of Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

It will make the Trump Administration “think twice' before authorizing a military intervention before a Congress approval. 'This is big historically and also for the future,' she asserted.

It was the first since 1973 that the US lawmakers have invoked the powerful War Powers Resolution. The move was approved by bipartisan votes of 54-46 in a Republican-controlled Senate. It puts the Congress on a collision course with the White House that has threatened to veto the resolution.

“The fact that seven Republicans voting with democrats to get a vote of 54 to 46 is very significant especially after President Trump warned Republicans that it would be very bad to vote for this resolution. This is the Congress reasserting its power in the realm of war and the power to wage war under the US Constitution,' according to Myers.

The resolution will now head to the Democratic-controlled House of Representative, where it is expected to be passed. That makes the resolution “concurrent” as put by the journalist. She expressed confidence that it would also be given the green light there.

“Once you have that kind of resolution, then you have a requirement under the statute that the president remove whatever support. It’s a statute that requires--with mandatory language--upon a concurrent resolution that the forces shall be removed by the president,” the Inside Arabia editor-in-chief highlighted.

However, that doesn't mean the resolution will have a rosy path to full implementation, Myers believes.

“There are a couple of reasons for that: firstly, because the administration issued a statement arguing that because there were no forces on the ground that it doesn’t fit under the resolution or the War Powers Act. His senior advisors were suggesting that he veto a joint resolution. But, it doesn’t matter if he vetoes it or not. But it remains to be seen, because it has never been tested in our history in the last 50 years,” she warned.

However, if Trump decides to veto the resolution, it will be a headache for him. “A presidential veto on a Congressional resolution in an area where the Congress holds power will be strange. If this goes to the Supreme Court, it’s not clear to me if the president can win this. This is a very complex issue that may end up before the Supreme Court and drag this out,” Myers said.


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