In lieu of a successful vote on a bipartisan proposal by Senators Lee and Sanders to end Congressional support for US military involvement in the Yemeni civil war, Republican leadership attached language supporting US involvement in the conflict to the 2018 farm bill. The relevant language of the attached resolution actually goes so far as to suspend the War Powers Resolution with respect to the Yemeni conflict, and to limit any debate in the House of Representatives on US support operations for Saudi Arabia in that war. On Wednesday, Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, posted to his official Twitter page the following snapshot of the language from the conference report on taking up the legislation:
In other words, point six of the Conference Report serves to strip the Sanders-Lee legislation — and its partner legislation, proposed by Representatives Massie and Khanna, in the House — of its power and render null any Congressional prerogative from such legislation for ending America’s involvement in the Yemeni Civil War.
Congress has long abdicated its Constitutional responsibilities by ceding nearly all its war powers to the executive branch, and US support operations for the Saudis in the Yemeni conflict is just the latest example of this dereliction of duty. Congress never authorized such an action, nor did it enforce the 60-day threshold provided for in the War Powers Resolution. The latest action by Senate leadership to sneak such language into a voluminous piece of legislation about soy bean subsidies and crop insurance is a final abdication; Congress is ceding even its limited War Powers Resolution authority and explicitly giving the executive the carte blanche it had previously only enjoyed de facto.