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Democrats slam Biden for bypassing Congress to strike Yemen

Just after news broke of the U.S. and U.K.'s airstrikes in Yemen, some House Democrats began criticizing President Biden for not seeking Congressional authorization.

Some House Democrats are frustrated with the Biden administration for striking Houthi positions in Yemen without Congressional approval on Thursday night.

“The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., wrote on X. “That is Article I of the Constitution.

“I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House,” he added.


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President Biden announced in a statement that the U.S. led a coordinated airstrike in Yemen with the U.K. and support from Canada, Australia and Bahrain.

He said the targets were “used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways.”

‘Squad’ members Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, and Missouri Democrat Cori Bush joined the chorus of criticism aimed at Biden for not seeking Congressional approval. 

Other Democrats also tweeted their displeasure, “These airstrikes have NOT been authorized by Congress. The Constitution is clear: Congress has the sole authority to authorize military involvement in overseas conflicts. Every president must first come to Congress and ask for military authorization, regardless of party,” Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Ore., wrote on X.

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Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., warned that bypassing Congress could risk getting the U.S. into more foreign conflicts.

“The United States cannot risk getting entangled into another decades-long conflict without Congressional authorization. The White House must work with Congress before continuing these airstrikes in Yemen,” Pocan wrote on X.

Senior Republican lawmakers, however, have shown rare praise for Biden over the move.

“I welcome the U.S. and coalition operations against the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists responsible for violently disrupting international commerce in the Red Sea and attacking American vessels. President Biden’s decision to use military force against these Iranian proxies is overdue,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.

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Biden said of the strikes, “These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea—including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.”

“These attacks have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation. More than 50 nations have been affected in 27 attacks on international commercial shipping,” he said in a statement.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been launching attacks against southern Israel and ships in the Red Sea since soon after Israel’s war with Hamas began in October.

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Since then the topic of Israel has driven a wedge in the Democratic Party, with hardliners and progressives more critical of U.S.-Israel relations and its military response in Gaza, while mainstream Democrats remain committed to the Middle Eastern ally.

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