The Senate is working on legislation to cut off all US assistance to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen, and in reaction to Riyadh's response to the killing of a dissident journalist, Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker has said.
According to the senator, the resolution targeting the Saudis could be voted on before the end of the year.
"Senators are looking for some way to show Saudi Arabia the disdain they have for what has happened, with the journalist, but also concerns about the way Yemen has gone," Corker said, speaking to Reuters on Tuesday.
The senator also informed Reuters that his staff had urged the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA to brief Congress regarding concerns over Riyadh's pursuit of the war in Yemen and the Khashoggi case. The classified briefing may be held as soon as later this month, Corker explained.
Corker and other key Foreign Relations Committee senators penned a strongly-worded letter to President Trump last month, urging him to consider imposing sanctions "with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi" if and when appropriate evidence was found.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration would end its air refueling support for Saudi-led coalition warplanes operating in Yemen after President Trump called an August 9 airstrike which hit civilians a "horror show" and accused the coalition of not knowing how to properly use US weapons.
Yemen descended into civil war in late 2014, when the Shiite Houthi militia overthrew the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Persian Gulf states began operations to try to restore the Hadi government in March 2015. The Saudi-led coalition's conduct in the war, including the blockade of Houthi-controlled ports, has been condemned by the United Nations for causing a humanitarian disaster. According to UN figures, over 14 million Yemenis face pre-famine conditions. Late last year, the UK-based Save the Children organization estimated that 50,000+ Yemeni children died from starvation in 2017 due to the war.