Sen. Bob Corker. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

An international conflict group reported this week that casualties from the war in Yemen has surpassed 60,000 since 2016, the Associated Press reports.

Where things stand: While the war rages on and the death toll climbs, Washington is divided. It's a clear struggle between those in Congress who believe a message must be sent to Saudi Arabia, and the president, who has refused to break from the Saudis.

In the Senate...

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.):

The Senate voted on Wednesday afternoon to advance the Sanders-Lee-Murphy resolution, which cites the War Powers Resolution in an effort to pull support from the Saudis in the war in Yemen.

  • Background: President Trump has already said he'd veto the legislation if it reached his desk, and a similar effort is stalled in the House. But Murphy said, per The Hill, that a vote this week is "a strong enough signal to the Saudis and a signal that we're going to come back and finish it off next year."
  • What's next: The Senate will debate and amend the legislation.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.):

Corker plans to introduce a non-binding resolution, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to get behind on Wednesday. According to Roll Call, the resolution would condemn policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and blame him for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

  • Be smart: This would not directly change U.S. policy.
  • Where it stands: The legislation hasn't yet been officially announced.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.):

Graham was joined by a bipartisan group of senators in introducing a non-binding resolution last week which would place blame on MBS for Khashoggi's murder and call on the Saudis to "negotiate directly" with the Houthi rebels on an end to the war in Yemen.

  • Graham told Roll Call he'd also be fine with Corker's legislation: "The key is to send a strong signal."
  • Be smart: Graham's resolution does not directly change U.S. policy, though Graham has said he's done doing business with the Saudis as long as MBS is at the helm.
  • Where it stands: The legislation hasn't been voted on yet.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.):

The Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018 calls for action against the kingdom in response to the murder of Khashoggi and the unfolding disaster in Yemen. It was co-sponsored by a group of bipartisan lawmakers, including Graham.

  • The act calls for the suspension of weapons sales to the Saudis and would impose sanctions on anyone responsible for Khashoggi's death within 30 days, "including any official of the government ... or member of the royal family."
  • Where it stands: This is expected to be picked back up in 2019, per The Hill.
In the House...

A Sanders-Lee-Murphy style resolution was effectively blacklisted in the House when a rule was added to the farm bill stating no vote on a war powers resolution regarding Yemen could be held until the new Congress is sworn in next year. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has introduced such a resolution.

  • Where it stands: The farm bill — which the Senate passed on Tuesday — is now expected to be up for final vote later on Wednesday.
Peace talks...

Meanwhile in Sweden, the long-anticipated talks between the Saudi and Houthi delegations, which started last week, are set to end on Thursday.

  • The latest: Both sides agreed to reopen the Sanaa airport, according to Reuters, and have draft agreements on other issues, including "a political framework ... the status of the port city of Hodeidah and Yemen's economic situation."
  • The two sides also agreed on a swap of thousands of prisoners by Jan. 20, considered a major breakthrough between the warring factions.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to say that peace talks are taking place in Sweden, not Geneva. They happened in Geneva earlier this year.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.