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Photo: Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty Images

Before the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there were already murmurs of displeasure in Congress towards Saudi Arabia, many of them based on the horrors inflicted on civilians in Yemen. Where there were sparks, Khashoggi's disappearance has lit a fire.

What they're saying: Sen. Chris Murphy told Axios last month that pulling support from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen "should be at the core of the Democratic foreign policy argument." Now, after Khashoggi's disappearance, he has called for a "fundamental review" of the entire U.S.-Saudi relationship. And he's not the only one.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: "The time is long overdue for us to reevaluate the US-Saudi relationship and ask whether it's actually advancing our interests and values."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in favor of withholding arms sales to the Saudis — and would vote against any future sales, a spokesperson told Axios. She also supports cutting support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen.
  • Sen. Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services committee, told reporters the U.S. should "terminate the aerial refueling" of Saudi-coalition planes in Yemen regardless of further Khashoggi developments. He also said after a "thorough, independent investigation," weapons sales could be restricted.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley: "The U.S.’ most powerful tool on the world stage is our moral leadership. Right now, our posture with Saudi Arabia is putting that leadership at risk."
  • Rep. Ro Khanna, who introduced a War Powers Resolution to pull U.S. support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen last month, told Axios: “I think this moment is capturing…the American public in a way that the 16,000 deaths in Yemen never did, frankly. And it’s leading to a fundamental re-examination of the relationship.”
  • House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who was an original co-sponsor of Khanna's legislation and has called for an "open debate about America's role in Yemen," said in a statement on Thursday: "Given the reports surrounding Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to be carefully scrutinized."

The other side: This isn't just a Democratic issue. More Republicans have started speaking out, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Bob Corker.

Go deeper

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — considered the world's largest by volume. Park officials wrapped the trees in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. And officials said early Sunday protection efforts appeared to be working.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. drone strike victims' families in Afghanistan seek compensation

A relative of Ezmarai Ahmadi, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike, looks at the wreckage of a vehicle that was damaged in the strike in the Kwaja Burga neighbourhood of Kabul on Saturday. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
7 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.