Senate votes to begin debate on Obamacare repeal
Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas announced he will vote Wednesday to speed final passage of a resolution ending American military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen — a crucial step that could help get the measure approved.
Moran’s office said he will join outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee in voting to limit the number of amendments that can be added to the resolution. That’s a key step needed to avoid hamstringing the plan before a final vote. Fifty-one Republicans are serving in the Senate, and at least 51 votes are needed to pass.
“This is important to protect the integrity of the resolution and to pass it in a timely manner,” Moran said in a statement on Tuesday.
In March, Moran was one of five Republicans who went along with limiting debate on a measure to end the U.S. military’s involvement in the war in Yemen. Sponsored by Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the resolution failed to pass, 55-44.
“It’s Congress’s constitutional responsibility to authorize when the American military engages in war,” Moran said at the time. “If the resolution prevails, it should help force a diplomatic resolution on the nearly four-year-long war and reduce the humanitarian crisis where 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of death from starvation.”
Moran also joined letters to the Trump administration in which he and other lawmakers raised concerns about the humanitarian disaster caused by the war in Yemen and questioned Saudi compliance with American law.
GOP support for Sanders’ resolution has grown since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey in October. Some Republicans have accused the Trump administration of willfully ignoring evidence linking Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to Khashoggi’s murder.
Moran usually walks the party line — he has an 87 percent rating from the American Conservative Union and has voted in line with President Donald Trump 93.6 percent of the time. But the Kansas senator occasionally has bucked GOP leadership on big votes in the past.
Moran opposed then-President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D expansion and No Child Left Behind legislation when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last year, he made headlines when he objected the Senate Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.