House Republicans attempted to add the language into the resolution to pull American forces out of Yemen.
House Republicans attempted to add pro-Israel and anti-BDS language into an unrelated resolution on Thursday.
The resolution “aimed to end U.S. participation in Yemen’s civil war,” which has caused a humanitarian crisis, “where Iran-backed Houthi rebels have sought to overthrow the country’s government, prompting a Saudi bombing campaign that has lasted nearly four years.”
It passed 247 to 175, but the pro-Israel amendment failed to make it in with a vote of 228-194.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed his disappointment.
Today is a sad day. Nearly every single Democrat just voted AGAINST Israel and in support of the BDS movement that seeks to destabilize the only democracy in the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/0PMbKXXesW
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 4, 2019
“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aims to deny Jewish people the right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland and it seeks to destabilize the Jewish state by encouraging a targeted economic war against Israel,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “The BDS movement is not interested in coexistence – it seeks further conflict and is unwilling to make concessions.”
Five Democrats voted for the amendment: Reps. Anthony Brindisi (D., N.Y.), Joe Cunningham (D., S.C.), Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.), Elaine Luria (D., Va.), and Jeff Van Drew (D., N.J.).
Reps. Justin Amash (MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) also voted no. But Amash voted no on the entire resolution. He explained why on Twitter.
Some of the Democrats came forward to explain why they voted no. From The Washington Free Beacon:
In contrast, some Democrats claimed the vote against the motion to recommit stands independently of their support for Israel. In a statement Thursday, Rep. Brad Schneider (D., Ill.) claimed the timing of the BDS language was inappropriate. “It was not easy for me to vote against a measure condemning BDS,” Schneider wrote. “[B]ut at this time, in these circumstances we have an immediate responsibility to help the people of Yemen.
Schneider claimed that Republicans were introducing Israel language into a Yemen bill as a wedge. He called McCarthy’s push for the motion “a transparent effort to derail an important resolution striving to end the war in Yemen.” He claimed opposition to BDS was not a matter appropriate for inclusion in a bill on the war in Yemen, which has killed some 16,000 civilians. (Schneider introduced an anti-BDS bill in March.)
The bill is House Resolution 37 “Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) introduced the resolution in January.
“While I agree with the sentiments expressed in the motion to recommit (MTR), I strenuously object to the Republicans’ cynical ploy of weaponizing support for Israel for partisan political gain,” Schneider said. “Support for the U.S.-Israel relationship must remain bipartisan.”
I can see their point. I have no idea why the GOP would put any language besides that which relates to the Yemen war in a resolution on the Yemen war. It’s one of the many things about Congress that bothers me. Could we please have separate bills and resolutions on topics?
If the House added the amendment, the resolution would have to go back to the Senate, which passed this resolution in March.
The resolution heads to President Donald Trump. If he does not veto, he has thirty days to withdraw America from the Yemen war.
The Democrats and Republicans joined forces against the Yemen war after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which caused them to move against Saudi Arabia.
President Barack Obama put American forces in Yemen “as an effort to share intelligence and provide logistical assistance, including aerial refueling, to a coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia.”
I guess now the Democrats hate war since a Democrat no longer occupies the White House. The House “invoked the rarely used War Powers Act to curb the president’s executive power to wage war without congressional approval.” That act allows Congress “to compel the removal of military forces absent a formal declaration of war.”
Trump will likely veto the resolution. The president “has resisted congressional efforts to punish Riyadh for the killing, citing his close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the longstanding security alliance between the two countries on counterterrorism.”
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