Antiwar Yemen Resolution Is Expected to Pass Today
By: DANIEL LARISON
The new version of the House antiwar resolution on Yemen, H.J.Res. 37, is set to pass later today:
The Democrat-led House is voting Wednesday on Khanna’s bill to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. And it’s expected to pass overwhelmingly with near-unanimous support from Democrats, plus a handful of conservative, non-interventionist Republicans.
Proponents expect it to clear both chambers with bipartisan support. And even though President Donald Trump is expected to veto the measure, it will mark the first time in history that the House and Senate adopted a War Powers resolution, and it will represent a major rebuke of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, particularly its posture toward Saudi Arabia.
Rep. Khanna has been a tireless advocate in the House for ending U.S. involvement in this indefensible war, and thanks to his leadership and perseverance and the support of his many colleagues this resolution is finally going to pass. Similar resolutions were torpedoed twice before by the Republican leadership in 2017 and 2018, but now that Republicans no longer control the House there is no chance of that happening again. Passage of H.J.Res. 37 will not only be a rebuke to Trump’s continued support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen, but it will also make clear that Americans have never consented to U.S. involvement in this war and our representatives have never authorized it. For the first time in decades, both the House and the Senate are poised to reassert their constitutional authority in matters of war. It will be a fitting tribute to the late Rep. Walter Jones, who was a dedicated opponent of unnecessary and illegal U.S. wars and an original co-sponsor of all three House antiwar Yemen resolutions. Congressional scrutiny and opposition to the war helped the diplomatic efforts to secure a limited ceasefire last year. Continued pressure from Congress will aid in bringing peace to Yemen despite the administration’s ongoing disgraceful support for the war.
The passage of the resolutions in the House and the Senate is only the beginning of an overdue effort to pressure the Saudi coalition to end their war. There are other measures that Congress will be considering this year related to the war on Yemen and the U.S.-Saudi relationship that can be used to bring additional pressure to bear on Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Kate Kizer explains them here:
Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) have introduced a stand-alone bill to permanently prohibit U.S. in-flight refueling to the Saudi-led coalition, thereby preventing the Pentagon from reversing its earlier decision to cut off this support. House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced legislation to punish Saudi Arabia for its murder of Jamal Khashoggi by ending all weapons sales and security cooperation with the country unless high-bar conditions are met. Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) have reintroduced their Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act, which is a positive first step towards a comprehensive reformation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and U.S. policy in Yemen, and includes sanctions for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a permanent end to refueling for the Yemen military coalition, and a nearly two-year suspension of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia.
The calamitous humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen remains the worst in the world, and up to 15 million people are still at risk of dying from starvation. It is critical that opponents of the war use the momentum from the House and Senate resolutions to keep building pressure on the administration and the Saudi coalition to secure a general ceasefire, a lifting of the blockade, and the stabilization of Yemen’s battered economy. Yemen’s plight has not become any less urgent, and our government’s responsibility for creating the horrifying conditions there has not lessened. The people of Yemen have already been waiting for four years for the war being waged upon them to end, and they must not be made to wait any longer.