Washington, D.C. — September 26, 2018 — In response to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) introducing a bipartisan, privileged resolution with 23 other Representatives to force a vote on whether or not to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen, Paul Kawika Martin the Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs for Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Peace Action applauds Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee), Eliot Engel (D-NY, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA, Ranking Member of the Rules Committee), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and others for invoking the War Powers Resolution to stop the illegal involvement of the U.S. in the war in Yemen. Peace Action helped pass the War Powers Resolution in 1973 over the veto of President Nixon so Congress can stop the White House and the Pentagon from engaging in costly wars that make Americans less safe.
“U.S. support for the Saudi/UAE-led coalition will be remembered as one of the greatest misapplications of American military support in history. The unauthorized U.S. role in the war has given rise to the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, made the U.S. complicit in countless war crimes and violations of international law and undermined our national security interests. Congress should have ended our role in Yemen’s suffering long ago, but every ten minutes that Congress fails to act, another child in Yemen dies of war-related causes. Any member of Congress who continues supporting this war will have to explain to their constituents why blindly facilitating war crimes in Yemen is in our nation’s interest.”
Original cosponsors of the bill: Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Adam Smith (D-WA-09), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Jan Schakowsky D-(IL-09), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02), Thomas Massie (R-KY-04), Michael Capuano (D-MA-07), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09), Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Joe Kennedy (D-MA-04), Joe Courtney (D-CT-2), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), Walter Jones (R-NC-03), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3).
This is not the first time members of Congress have attempted to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen by invoking the War Powers Act. On March 20, 2018, the Senate took a procedural vote on similar legislation invoking the War Powers Act in an effort to end the unauthorized U.S. role in the war in Yemen. A motion to table a motion to discharge the legislation, S.J.Res. 54, passed 55-44, preventing the legislation from moving forward.
Almost a year to the day ago, on September 27, 2017, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced H.Con.Res. 81, legislation also aimed at ending the unauthorized U.S. role in the war in Yemen. A compromise bill, H.Res. 599, which specifically acknowledged that Congress never authorized U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, was negotiated and passed in the House in a vote of 366-30 on November 13, 2017.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.