Sending Office: Honorable Ro Khanna
Co-sponsors (80): Adam Smith, Jim McGovern, Steny Hoyer, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Ted Lieu, Thomas Massie, Barbara Lee, Walter Jones, Beto O’Rourke, Joe Courtney, Joe Kennedy III, Jan Schakowsky, Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Capuano,
Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Raul Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal, Gwen Moore, Debbie Dingell, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Peter Welch, Frank Pallone, John Garamendi, Jackie Speier, Zoe Lofgren, Joaquin Castro, Jarred Huffman, Jerry Nadler, Paul Tonko,
Karen Bass, Colleen Hanabusa, Chellie Pingree, Tim Walz, Dina Titus, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Napolitano, Donald S Beyer, Jr, Daniel Kildee, Frederica Wilson, Betty McCollum, Anna Eshoo, Elanor Holmes Norton, Salud Carbajal, Keith Ellison, Gerald Connolly, Jimmy
Panetta, Anthony Brown, David Loebsack, Ruben Gallego, Ken Buck, Alcee Hastings, John Yarmuth, Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes, Danny Davis, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Gregory Meeks, Katherine Clark, Richard Nolan, Suzanne Bonamici, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Nydia
Velazquez, Denny Heck, Henry “Hank” Johnson, Raul Labrador, Carolyn Maloney, Brad Schneider, Lloyd Doggett, Bobby L. Rush, Daniel W. Lipinski, Steve Cohen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, David N. Cicilline, Jim Cooper, Jim Himes
We invite you to join us in co-sponsoring
H.Con.Res. 138, a bipartisan privileged resolution to force a floor vote to end the
unconstitutional participation of U.S. forces engaged in hostilities alongside the Saudi regime in Yemen.
The U.S.-Saudi military campaign in Yemen has triggered the world’s
worst humanitarian crisis, prompting the late Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi to call for an end to the war. Published just weeks before his murder, Khashoggi’s
Washington Post column was
headlined, “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince must restore dignity to his country — by ending Yemen’s cruel war.”
H.Con.Res. 138, along with bipartisan measure S.J.Res. 54 in the Senate, enjoys expedited consideration under the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The two resolutions are the only initiatives that will compel an up-or-down roll-call vote in Congress regarding
any aspect of U.S.-Saudi military cooperation during this legislative session.
President Trump declared on October 23rd that “there has to be some kind of retribution” for the killing of American permanent legal resident Jamal Khashoggi. “I’m going to leave it very much, in conjunction with me, up to Congress, and that means…both
Republicans and Democrats,” he concluded. Defense Secretary Mattis noted that “the tragedy of Yemen worsens by the day,” and argued that “now is the time to move forward on stopping this war.” On October 30th, Sec. Mattis conveyed his intent to
negotiate a ceasefire within 30 days, and Secretary of State Pompeo
concurred: “The time is now for the cessation of hostilities.”
Although the Trump Administration has routinely declared its support for a ceasefire, it has never sought to condition U.S. military support on Saudi efforts to achieve a ceasefire. In April 2017, for example, before the Saudis launched a disastrous assault
on Yemen’s major port city of Hodeida, Secretary Mattis
claimed that “our goal” is to resolve the war “politically as soon as possible,” and that the conflict “has simply got to be brought to an end.”
In September of this year, despite
increased levels of indiscriminate Saudi attacks, including the
bombing of a school bus with 40 children, Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis falsely asserted to Congress that the Saudi regime was making “every
effort” to reduce civilian casualties. In doing so, they
dismissed USAID’s recommendation to halt U.S. military involvement because the agency did “not believe that continued refueling support will improve either country’s approach to civilian casualties or human protections.”
The passage of H.Con.Res. 138 and S.J.Res. 54 would therefore ensure accountability to Congress during the ceasefire negotiations and offer leverage to the Trump Administration in a genuine pursuit of an end to Saudi-led hostilities.
100,000 Yemeni children have already died as a result of war-triggered hunger and disease over the past two years. According to the U.N.,
14 million people in Yemen—half the population—face an imminent and catastrophic famine not seen in
100 years if the war is not ended.
The Saudi-led coalition, with U.S. midair refueling and targeting assistance, has launched
18,000 airstrikes on Yemen since 2015,
attacking hospitals, schools, water treatment plants, funerals, markets, and farms and killing thousands of Yemenis. In 2015, Foreign Policy magazine
reported that the Saudi coalition’s “daily bombing campaign would not be possible without the constant presence of U.S. Air Force tanker planes refueling coalition jets.” Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran of the CIA,
argued that if the United States were to tell Saudi Arabia to stop the war, “it would end tomorrow,” and that “the Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without” U.S. support.
For over three years, the Saudi regime—with
direct U.S. military participation—has been fighting the Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group. The Houthis are
unrelated to Al Qaeda or ISIS, and are
not covered under any Authorization for Use of Military Force. In fact, the Associated Press
recently revealed that the Saudi coalition has actively supported Al Qaeda in Yemen against the Houthis, coordinating battleground movements in Yemen with Al Qaeda; recruiting hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters to join the Saudi-led anti-Houthi coalition itself;
and providing financial payments to figures designated terrorists by the United States for their ties to Al Qaeda.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 specifies that the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities includes forces assigned to “command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any
foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.” Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution assigns to Congress the
sole authority over the offensive use of force, including the right to declare war, raise and regulate armed forces, issue letters of marque (authorizing private citizens to
undertake military actions against another nation) and acts of reprisal (military responses short of war).
Please join this effort to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi regime’s war in Yemen. As we
argued last year, nowhere else on earth today is there a catastrophe that is so profound and affects so many lives, yet could be so easy to resolve: halt the bombing, end the blockade, and let food and medicine into Yemen so that millions may live. To join
as a cosponsor, please contact Geo.Saba@mail.house.gov at Rep. Khanna’s office or
Leslie.Zelenko@mail.house.gov in Rep. Pocan’s office.
Ro Khanna Mark Pocan
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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