Washington, D.C. — March 20, 2018 — In response to the historic Senate vote today on the bipartisan Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill (S.J.Res. 54) to end unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which sent a clear message to the White House and the Pentagon with a strong vote of 44-55, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Thanks to the leadership of Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), the Senate came closer than it has in the past decade and a half to reclaiming its constitutional authority to debate and vote on war. At the same time, it sent a strong message to the White House, the Pentagon, and Saudi Arabia that the war in Yemen, and the unauthorized U.S. support role, must end.
“The bipartisan Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill would have ended U.S. military support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, support that was never authorized by Congress and support that’s enabled a deliberate Saudi-led campaign to starve the people of Yemen into submission. With U.S. support, the Saudi-led coalition has weaponized hunger and disease by deliberately bombing food distribution centers, water treatment facilities, roads and bridges critical for the delivery of aid. Millions are on the verge of starvation. Over a million have contracted Cholera.
“It’s remarkable that even on the 15-year anniversary of the Iraq War, widely considered one of the greatest blunders in American foreign policy, the Senate just voted to continue another disastrous military intervention in the Middle East. Senators who voted against the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill have given the Trump Administration and Saudi Arabia carte blanche to continue the war without changing a thing. In effect, these senators just voted to sentence countless more Yemenis to death by bombs, disease and starvation.
“Despite the Senate’s failure to muster the political will to uphold the Constitution today, progress is being made. Last September, a Senate effort to repeal the out of touch and overly broad 2001 and 2002 war authorizations garnered 36 votes. Today the Senate came even closer to reclaiming its constitutional authority on war.
“While some senators and mainstream outlets like 60 Minutes are busy singing the praises and whitewashing the war crimes of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the architect of the Saudi-led war and the humanitarian crisis its created by design, activists across the nation are staging protests in virtually every city the Crown Prince is visiting during his time in the U.S.
“Up against a full-throated lobbying campaign by the administration and Saudi Arabia, hundreds of thousands of concerned constituents from across the political spectrum flooded the Senate with thousands of calls and hundreds of thousands of petition signatures demanding Congress end our complicity in Yemen’s suffering and reclaim its constitutional powers to debate and vote on war. Those same constituents will not rest until that job is done.”
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.