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RELEASE: Rep. Khanna Leads Bipartisan Action to Stop US Military Involvement in Yemen

October 2, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Walter Jones (R-NC) have introduced a bipartisan resolution that seeks to stop U.S. military participation in Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis in Yemen. This is an entirely separate war from the fight against Al Qaeda, yet Congress has never authorized it. By invoking the War Powers resolution, these members want a congressional vote to officially withdraw U.S. forces from this unauthorized conflict.

Currently, the U.S. provides mid-air refueling for Saudi and UAE warplanes that are conducting air strikes in Yemen, as well as assistance with bomb targeting. The bombing campaign supports a blockade that prevents food and medicine reaching the people of Yemen resulting in a devastating humanitarian crisis. Nearly 19 million Yemenis are suffering from food insecurity, or 60 percent of the population, and a child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes and diseases.

“It's beyond time for the country to stop conducting refueling for missions over Yemen. Congress and the American people know too little about the role we are playing in a war that is causing suffering for millions of people and is a genuine threat to our national security,” said Rep. Khanna, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“Enough is enough. As aid groups warn of Yemen approaching a famine of ‘Biblical proportions,’ and as the Saudis continue to impose a crippling blockade on food imports as a tactic of war, I'm compelled to join my friend Ro Khanna in asserting our constitutional duty to withdraw U.S. forces directly engaged in this senseless, unauthorized conflict. As 7 million Yemenis face starvation, I urge Congress to vote yes on our resolution and help bring an end to the U.S. role in Yemen’s unimaginable catastrophe,” said Rep. Pocan, who is also co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“We must stop selling weapons and lending forces to Saudi Arabia, a country whose royals were complicit in funding 9/11 attacks,” said Rep. Jones. “As Congress has yet to authorize military force for hostilities between the Saudis and Houthis, America has no place being involved in that unconstitutional conflict.”

“Our national security interests in Yemen are unclear, yet we are giving money and military assistance to Saudi Arabia so they can continue to wage war in Yemen. This military action was never authorized by Congress and the American people deserve an open debate by their elected officials,” said Rep. Massie.

This year, Congress has received no answers from the Trump Administration on its Yemen policy, and legislative efforts to exercise oversight over U.S. hostilities in Saudi Arabia’s war have been repeatedly thwarted, despite more than two years of direct U.S. military involvement.

In the spring, Reps. Pocan and Justin Amash (R-MI) sent letters signed by more than 50 lawmakers to President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in an attempt to get answers to the most basic questions regarding the active U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. During markup of the National Defense Authorization Act in July, Rep. Khanna introduced amendments that would curb U.S. involvement in Yemen but the House did not choose to vote on the amendments.

Read H. CON. RES. 81 here.

The cosponsors of the resolution along with Reps. Khanna, Pocan, Jones and Massie are: John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Karen Bass (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Rick Nolan (D-MN), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.

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Khanna Press Office: 202-225-2631

Pocan Press Office: 202-225-2906

Jones Press Office: 202-225-3415

Massie Press Office: 202-225-3465