PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGE; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 69
(Senate - April 29, 2019)

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[Pages S2483-S2484]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGE

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  REPORT OF THE VETO OF S.J. RES. 7, A JOINT RESOLUTION TO DIRECT THE 
REMOVAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM HOSTILITIES IN THE REPUBLIC 
  OF YEMEN THAT HAVE NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS, RECEIVED DURING 
           ADJOURNMENT OF THE SENATE ON APRIL 17, 2019--PM 10

  The PRESIDING OFFICER laid before the Senate the following message 
from the President of the United States, together with an accompanying 
report, which was ordered to be printed in the Record, spread in full 
upon the Journal, and held at the desk:

To the Senate of the United States:
  I am returning herewith without my approval S.J. Res. 7, a joint 
resolution that purports to direct the President to remove United 
States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of 
Yemen, with certain exceptions. This resolution is an unnecessary, 
dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering 
the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today 
and in the future.
  This joint resolution is unnecessary because, apart from 
counterterrorism operations against al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula 
and ISIS, the United States is not engaged in hostilities in or 
affecting Yemen. For example, there are no United States military 
personnel in Yemen commanding, participating in, or accompanying 
military forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in 
hostilities in or affecting Yemen.
  Since 2015, the United States has provided limited support to member 
countries of the Saudi-led coalition, including intelligence sharing, 
logistics support, and, until recently, in-flight refueling of non-
United States aircraft.

[[Page S2484]]

All of this support is consistent with applicable Arms Export Control 
Act authorities, statutory authorities that permit the Department of 
Defense to provide logistics support to foreign countries, and the 
President's constitutional power as Commander in Chief. None of this 
support has introduced United States military personnel into 
hostilities.
  We are providing this support for many reasons. First and foremost, 
it is our duty to protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans 
who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to 
Houthi attacks from Yemen. Houthis, supported by Iran, have used 
missiles, armed drones, and explosive boats to attack civilian and 
military targets in those coalition countries, including areas 
frequented by American citizens, such as the airport in Riyadh, Saudi 
Arabia. In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a ``cheap'' and 
inexpensive way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for 
our ally, Saudi Arabia.
  S.J. Res. 7 is also dangerous. The Congress should not seek to 
prohibit certain tactical operations, such as in-flight refueling, or 
require military engagements to adhere to arbitrary timelines. Doing so 
would interfere with the President's constitutional authority as 
Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and could endanger our service 
members by impairing their ability to efficiently and effectively 
conduct military engagements and to withdraw in an orderly manner at 
the appropriate time.
  The joint resolution would also harm the foreign policy of the United 
States. Its efforts to curtail certain forms of military support would 
harm our bilateral relationships, negatively affect our ongoing efforts 
to prevent civilian casualties and prevent the spread of terrorist 
organizations such as al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, and 
embolden Iran's malign activities in Yemen.
  We cannot end the conflict in Yemen through political documents like 
S.J. Res. 7. Peace in Yemen requires a negotiated settlement. 
Unfortunately, inaction by the Senate has left vacant key diplomatic 
positions, impeding our ability to engage regional partners in support 
of the United Nations-led peace process. To help end the conflict, 
promote humanitarian and commercial access, prevent civilian 
casualties, enhance efforts to recover American hostages in Yemen, and 
defeat terrorists that seek to harm the United States, the Senate must 
act to confirm my nominees for many critical foreign policy positions.
  I agree with the Congress about the need to address our engagements 
in foreign wars. As I said in my State of the Union address in 
February, great nations do not fight endless wars. My Administration is 
currently accelerating negotiations to end our military engagement in 
Afghanistan and drawing down troops in Syria, where we recently 
succeeded in eliminating 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate. 
Congressional engagement in those endeavors would be far more 
productive than expending time and effort trying to enact this 
unnecessary and dangerous resolution that interferes with our foreign 
policy with respect to Yemen.
  For these reasons, it is my duty to return S.J. Res. 7 to the Senate 
without my approval.
                                                     Donald J. Trump.  
The White House, April 16, 2019.

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