Forget Judicial Nominees or a Border Wall, Senate Is All About Khashoggi

Maybe I overuse the Trainwreck graphic. But can anyone argue that it isn't a perfect summary of this absolute madness?

Congress digs in for prolonged Saudi battle - The Hill

Judicial nominees? A border wall? Who needs that stuff anyway. Let's make everything about helping Iran win in Yemen and protecting Osama bin Laden's old pal, Jamal Khashoggi. 

Even with Obama gone, we can still make sure his foreign policy lives on.

The Senate is prepared to defy Trump this week with a vote on a resolution aimed at ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, with both supporters and opponents predicting it has enough backing to pass.

As usual, the media fails to note that the Saudis are fighting Iran's proxy Houthi terrorists whose motto is, "Death to America."

The facts would ruin the vibe.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that holding a vote this week is “a strong enough signal to the Saudis and a signal that we’re going to come back and finish it off next year.”

“The underlying resolution would still have privilege next year, and so if it passes this year it will likely pass again next year,” he added.

Murphy, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), is sponsoring the resolution, which would require Trump to withdraw troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda. Because the senators are bringing up the resolution under the War Powers Act, they need only a simple majority to pass it and would be able to quickly force it to the floor again next year.

In addition to the Yemen resolution, senators are expecting a wide-ranging bill from Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) to spill over into 2019. That measure would require sanctions within 30 days on anyone involved in Khashoggi’s death, including “any official of the government of Saudi Arabia or member of the royal family” determined to be involved.

It also would require a report within 30 days on the kingdom’s human rights record. And to help address the Yemen crisis, the legislation would suspend U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit the U.S. military from refueling Saudi coalition aircraft.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is hoping to hold a markup on the Menendez-Young bill early this week, though it hasn’t been formally announced. The meeting would allow the committee — which has members spanning the foreign policy spectrum — to work through any amendments and get it prepped for an eventual vote on the Senate floor.

Corker said it was “possible,” but unlikely, that the Senate is able to tackle that broader bill this year.

“Honestly, knowing the way things work … the Menendez-Young effort is one that probably continues into next year, in all likelihood,” Corker, who is retiring in January, told reporters this past week.

“It can start this year, but if nothing else if we could just roll out a new product that gets 60 cosponsors that would be a good place to start,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is cosponsoring the bill. “It’s a product that becomes your jumping off point for next year.”

I'm really glad the Senate is working for Qatar, instead of for Americans.