The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) today celebrated both the historic Senate vote to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the breakthrough in the Yemen peace negotiations.
Todays victory will go down in the annals of history, demonstrating that Americans who long for peace and humanitarian response can help stop the starvation of millions of people, said Diane Randall, FCNLs Executive Secretary. With this vote, the Senate also set a historic precedent for using the War Powers Resolution exactly the way the Vietnam War-era Congress intended: to end wars never authorized by Congress.
For the first time, the Senate voted to withdraw military forces using the War Powers Resolution. The Sanders-Lee-Murphy legislation (S.J.Res. 54) passed 56-41. FCNL continues to call on the House to keep the momentum going on Capitol Hill and at the UN-brokered peace talks by voting to end American involvement in this unconscionable war once and for all.
Congressional pressure on the Saudi-led coalition clearly played a large role in the Yemeni peace talks progress, said Kate Gould, FCNLs Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. Today, the Senate sent the strongest signal yet that America must stop enabling the starvation of children. With House Republican leadership preventing representatives from having a say, incoming House Democratic leadership should pledge to hold a vote in early January on ending support for this war.
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While the Senate legislation now moves to the House, Republican leadership there has repeatedly prevented Yemen war powers bills (H.Con.Res. 81, H.Con.Res.138, and H.Con.Res.142) from getting floor votes. Yesterday, for example, by a narrow three-vote margin, the House passed a rule providing for debate on the farm bill (H.Res. 1176) that obstructs votes on the Yemen war for the rest of 2018.
FCNL is the leading faith-based organization lobbying American policymakers to end support for the Saudi-led war and 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