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In Historic Vote to Curb US Support of Saudi Arabia, McCaskill, Blunt Split

Ken Lund
Flickr via Creative Commons

US Senators sent a resounding message to the White House and Saudi Arabia Thursday, passing a resolution to end America’s military support of Saudi Arabia’s hostilities in Yemen.

It was a rare bipartisan rebuke of the kingdom—and Missouri’s two senators took opposite sides in the historic vote.

For weeks, Senators have debated over how to hold Saudi Arabia’s crown prince accountable for his alleged role in the murder of a Washington Post columnist.

They’ve also considered  the catastrophe in Yemen, where the group Save the Children estimates 85,000 children may have died from starvation.

In the end, several senators joined hands across party lines to say the US military does not have the permission of Congress to engage in hostilities on the Arabian Peninsula—and that it must stop refueling Saudi warplanes and providing intelligence to the Saudi forces fighting there.

Democrat Claire McCaskill voted yes with the majority.  Republican Roy Blunt voted against the resolution.

The White House has said it will continue to support Saudi Arabia because of arms deals and a common threat posed by Iran.

While there has been bipartisan support on this matter in the Senate, the House of Representatives remains more divided.  

This fall,  the Washington, D.C. based think tank the Center for International Policy published a report naming Blunt as one of the top ten recipients of campaign contributions made by Saudi-hired lobbying firms.   Blunt's office did not respond to a request for comment on the report. 

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