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Senators question legality of Biden’s Houthi strikes in Yemen

Senators question legality of Biden’s Houthi strikes in Yemen
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Wednesday, 24 January, 2024, 11:00

A growing number of bipartisan lawmakers is questioning President Joe Biden’s legal authorities to conduct strikes on Yemen’s Houthis.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., led three other senators in a Tuesday letter to Biden pushing him on the strategic and legal rationale for the recent tit-for-tat strikes against Houthi assets in Yemen without a military authorization from Congress. The objections come following reports the White House is preparing for a sustained campaign that could last several more months in response to the Iran-backed group’s attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

“There is no current congressional authorization for U.S. military action against the Houthis in the Red Sea or Yemen,” Kaine told Defense News. “This has gone beyond a one-off self-defense. As soon as it’s a prediction of a back-and-forth, it’s going to escalate more. This needs Congress now.”

Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Todd Young, R-Ill., also signed onto the Kaine letter questioning Biden’s legal authorities under the 1973 War Powers Act.