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Paul Ryan bids farewell to D.C. by doing Trump’s bidding just as Republicans find some spine on foreign policy

December 15, 2018 in Blogs

By Sophia Tesfaye, Salon

Paul Ryan’s disgraceful last act: Providing cover for Trump on Yemen war

The Senate finally found its spine this week. But just as Mitch McConnell steadied his wobbly feet to stand up to Donald Trump, Paul Ryan swooped in to undercut one of the only real acts of Republican resistance in two years of galling fecklessness.

For the first time since it was passed during the depths of the Vietnam War quagmire, a chamber of Congress used the War Powers Act to serve as a check on the executive branch this week. Some of the Senate’s most conservative members voted on Wednesday for legislation co-sponsored by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that would have ended U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s three-year-long bombing campaign in Yemen.

The very next day, the Republican-led Senate voted unanimously for a non-binding resolution to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The pair of foreign policy rebukes came in the same week that one Republican joined with Senate Democrats to narrowly pass a resolution to stop the Trump administration’s attempt to loosen rules that require “dark money” nonprofit political groups to disclose donor names in tax returns.

A slow clap for the Senate, if you’ll allow.

To be fair, this is not the first time McConnell has allowed his caucus to flex back at the White House, even in the face of Trump’s bluster. The annual defense appropriations bill, which sailed through the Senate in a bipartisan vote earlier this year, included a provision that blocked the Trump administration from scrapping tough penalties on the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE. The next month, the Senate passed a non-binding resolution aimed at rolling back Trump’s authority to impose national-security tariffs. McConnell even spoke out against the president’s shameful family separation policy for migrants detained at the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year.'

“[I]t is important for Congress to signal that there is no excuse for recent Saudi behavior,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fierce ally of Trump, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

But just as the effort to speak out against Trump’s silence on the Saudi regime began …read more


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