The Senate on Wednesday advanced a measure to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, fueled by a desire to send a strong message to Saudi Arabia over the kingdom's role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Senate voted 60-39, with 11 Republicans who supported the measure. It was unclear when the Senate would take it's final vote on the measure.
Despite the message senators are sending to President Donald Trump and the Saudis, their efforts will largely be fruitless.
The House is not expected to take up similar legislation due to a last-minute maneuver by Republican leadership, which essentially shut the door on war powers resolutions in this session of Congress.
Even if the resolution were to make it to the president's desk, it's expected he would oppose the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., argued strongly against the Yemen resolution on Wednesday.
“Members on both sides have legitimate concerns about the war in Yemen, about the U.S. interests tangled up in this conflict and especially about the horrible plight of Yemeni citizens who are caught in the crossfire,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “And where Saudi Arabia is concerned, I think every single member of this body shares grave concerns about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and wants accountability.”
But the GOP leader argued that American support in the Saudi-Yemen war does not amount to military engagement, and said the U.S. is not involved in direct combat and has stopped providing midair refueling for coalition's warplanes.
“If the Senate wants to pick a constitutional fight with the executive branch over war powers, I would advise my colleagues to pick a better case,” McConnell argued.