Senate defied Trump on Saudi ties, but may falter in next steps
- The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
- Corker, one of the 14 Republican “yes” votes, said he was discussing a way ahead, including possible amendments, with Senate Republican leaders and Democrats.
The U.S. Congress will have a difficult time undermining the Trump administration’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, despite a Senate vote this week to consider a resolution that would end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
On Wednesday, 14 of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely defy his wishes, joined Democrats to vote 63-37 to advance the measure, paving the way for a possible vote to pass it next week.
The unusual result underscored lawmakers’ frustration with what they see as the Trump administration’s inadequate response to the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate and the deepening humanitarian disaster in Yemen.
Senators from both parties have been increasingly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler who the CIA believes ordered the killing of his critic. Trump has stood by the prince.
But the parties broke almost immediately over how to move ahead. Democrats demanded a vote on the resolution as it stands, while some Republicans who voted “yes” said they wanted it amended, or that it would prompt the White House to act.
“What I’d love to see happen is to have the administration address it,” Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Thursday.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Corker, one of the 14 Republican “yes” votes, said he was discussing a way ahead, including possible amendments, with Senate Republican leaders and Democrats.
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