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RELEASE: Bipartisan Coalition in Senate and House Announce New Push to End U.S. Support for Saudi-led War in Yemen

January 30, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) renewed their efforts in the Senate and House Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.

As a result of the Saudi-led war, 14 million Yemenis are at risk of starvation and some 85,000 children have already starved to death.

The Senate passed the war powers resolution last Congress in an historic vote, but the bill did not receive a vote in the House. Khanna and Pocan’s new push has the backing of House leadership, and the resolution is expected to come up for a vote in February.

“With the first-ever passage of a War Powers Resolution last month, the United States Senate said in no uncertain terms that we will not continue to have our military posture dictated by a despotic, murderous regime in Saudi Arabia. We look forward to quickly passing this resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. We are going to send a strong signal to the president that the U.S. Congress is prepared to play the role designed for us by the framers of the Constitution,” Sanders said.

“The Founders specifically gave Congress – the branch closest to the people – the power to declare war. Yet we’ve been participating in war actions in the Yemeni Civil War since 2015 without the go-ahead from Congress. It was unconstitutional then, and it’s unconstitutional now. Today we are reintroducing the same resolution this body passed just last month and we look forward to swift action here in the Senate and the House,” Lee said.

“For years, I have been sounding the alarm about the disastrous U.S. involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Late last year, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate woke up and came together to pass our War Powers Resolution. We sent a strong message to Saudi Arabia that they can no longer expect a blank check from the United States. With the new Democratic majority in the House, I am optimistic that Congress will once again sound the alarm over the atrocities committed in Yemen and end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition that is killing thousands of civilians, blocking humanitarian aid, and arming radical militias,” Murphy said.

“The U.S.-Saudi military campaign in Yemen has triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. More than 14 million Yemenis—half the country—are on the brink of famine, and at least 85,000 children have already died from hunger and disease as a result of the war. I’m proud to partner with colleagues and work to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi regime’s war in Yemen by reasserting Congress’ constitutional role on matters of war and peace. I am confident this will pass in the House when brought for a vote,” Khanna said.

“As the Saudi-led coalition continues to use famine as a weapon of war, starving millions of innocent Yemenis to near death, the United States is actively participating in the regime’s military campaign, providing targeting and logistical assistance for Saudi airstrikes. For far too long, Congress has refused to carry out its constitutional responsibility to make decisions regarding military engagement—we can longer stay silent on matters of war and peace. I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining us in introducing this resolution, and for House Leadership’s commitment to removing U.S. forces from this senseless conflict and bringing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis to a swift end,” Pocan said.

“The conflict in Yemen has gone on for far too long, leaving a permanent stain on the conscience of the world,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “Congress has the responsibility to provide oversight of America’s use of military force and support to international conflicts. Chairman Adam Smith and Congressman Ro Khanna are to be commended for their leadership in introducing this resolution to limit U.S. engagement in the war in Yemen.  The United States must also work to advance a peaceful, enduring political solution to the conflict and end the humanitarian crisis.”

“The Yemeni people are facing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe that has been exacerbated by the ongoing civil war. Instead of choosing sides in this conflict, the U.S. must be squarely focused on urging a peaceful resolution and alleviating the humanitarian crisis. I am proud to join colleagues in supporting this resolution to send a strong message that oversight regarding Yemen is a key priority this Congress,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

“The U.S. backed-Saudi war in Yemen has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. This resolution takes us one step closer to finally ending this horrific war and reinstating Congress’ constitutional authority to debate and vote on matters of war and peace,” said Rep. Barbara Lee.

The Sanders-Lee-Murphy joint resolution is guaranteed a vote in the Senate in accordance with the procedures outlined in the International Security and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. It will be referred to the Foreign Relations Committee and if it hasn’t been reported within 10 calendar days, it is subject to a motion to discharge. If reported or discharged from committee, the motion to proceed to the measure is privileged. The joint resolution is debatable for 10 hours on the Senate floor. 

 

To view the Senate resolution, click here.
To view the House resolution, click here.
To watch the press conference, click here.