US Congress Current Affairs - 2020

United States submits notice to U.N Secretary-General to withdraw from WHO by 6th July 2021

The formal notification to the United States Congress was provided on 7th July 2020 by President Donald Trump-led Administration on the decision of ending the United States relations with the World Health Organization (WHO: Specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for public health globally).

As per the notification, the United States Government has submitted its notice to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to withdraw from the WHO by the 6th of July 2021.

The withdrawal of membership from the WHO will be a yearlong process as several factors are likely to come up in between in which the Donald Trump-led administration won’t have control. One such factor is the Presidential Elections in November 2020, if Trump loses and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden is elected as the President of United States then United States will remain as a member of the WHO as Joe Biden has publically announced that he would have the United States rejoin WHO if elected as the President.

Background

Citing the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, the United States President on 18th May 2020 has threatened to freeze the fundings of the WHO and also reconsider United States Membership with the organization as he accused the WHO of repeated missteps taken by them in handling the pandemic.

On 29th May 2020, Donald Trump announced that the funding to the WHO from the United States will be halted as he accused China of having entire control over the WHO.

The United States is the largest contributor to the annual budget of the WHO, over the current two years budget period- 15 percent of the WHO’s total funding was made by the United States. USD 450 million is being contributed by the United States in a year.

President Trump vetoes Bill to end U.S. support for Yemen War

President Donald Trump has vetoed the resolution from the US Congress which directed him to end U.S. support for the civil war in Yemen.

Why the President has vetoed the Congress Resolution?

President trump has stated the following reasons for vetoing the US Congress resolution:

  • Yemen is at a breaking point as 10 million people on the brink of famine. There are more than 100 civilian casualties per week, and Yemenis are more likely to be killed at home than in any other structure.
  • U.S. support for the war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned Houthi rebels was necessary to protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries.

President Trump has called the resolution as an unnecessary and a dangerous attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities. He further stressed that the resolution endangers the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future.

It was the second veto during his presidency, earlier he had vetoed a congressional resolution which was aimed to reverse the border emergency President Trump had declared in order to secure more funding for his wall between the United States and Mexico.