The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) hailed todays historic House vote to end American military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The legislation, passed with bipartisan support in a 248-177 vote, now moves to the Senate, where a floor vote is expected within the coming weeks.
Todays vote affirms the power of grassroots, pro-peace advocacy to turn the tide against war in Congress, said Diane Randall, FCNLs Executive Secretary. Ending the war that has led to the worlds worst humanitarian crisis is something we can achieve. Todays vote demonstrates a bipartisan desire to do so.
When Quakers across the country began lobbying against this war, few in Congress were focused on the Yemen crisis, and even fewer would speak out.
Just a couple years ago, members of Congress would tell us privately that they didnt know Saudi Arabia was waging this war, let alone that the United States was enabling it, explained Kate Gould, FCNLs Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. Grassroots pressure was critical in educating members of Congress about this unauthorized war.
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This legislation (H.J. Res. 37) now heads to the Senate, where 51 votes are required for passage. Last year the Senate passed a similar measure by a vote of 56-41 on December 13, 2018. Fifty-one of the 56 senators who voted in favor of that previous version continue to serve in the 116th Congress.
If the Senate vote is successful, then for the first time since 1973, Congress will send legislation to the Presidents desk that enforces the War Powers Act, Gould concluded.
FCNL applauds Rep. Ro Khannas (CA-17) indefatigable leadership, and the support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Chairman Eliot Engel (NY-16), Chairman Jim McGovern (MA-02), and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2) in making this legislation a top priority for the 116th Congress.
FCNL is the leading faith-based organization lobbying American policymakers to end support for the Saudi-led war and the de-facto blockade of Yemen. As a Quaker organization, FCNL seeks to end war and all threats of war. To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.
Timothy J. McHugh
Friends Committee on National Legislation