Yesterday, in a dramatic shift against current US involvement in Yemen’s civil war, 63 senators voted to discharge S.J.Res. 54 to the floor. Though a milestone in the struggle to end US complicity in Yemen’s conflict and resulting humanitarian catastrophe, we need to caution that the Senate has only voted, so far, to have a debate on the resolution. Already, some senators who supported the resolution’s discharge because of public pressure and media coverage are looking for a way to duck the final vote when it occurs next week. So we need you to keep calling and emailing until the bill passes the Senate!
Yesterday, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, which, if passed, would require President Trump to remove all US personnel from their activities in support of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen. Specifically, the resolution would prevent the US administration from literally fueling Yemen’s civil war by halting the in-flight refueling of, and other logistical support to, coalition air raids that have targeted numerous schools, markets, and homes. The resolution will also reassert Congress’ power to approve and oversee the president’s deployment of the armed forces, as mandated by the War Powers Resolution. This is our best chance yet to end America’s involvement in a war that has killed more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians, displaced 3 million more, and brought about the world’s worst humanitarian disaster with 8 million people at risk of famine!
We got a bit of a surprise over the weekend. Despite election season, and despite the seemingly hundreds of scandals inundating our screens, certain members of Congress have not forgotten that US support is enabling shocking war crimes in Yemen. And this week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is pushing forward a tough amendment to the otherwise routine Defense Department appropriations bill to cut off US support for the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen. But it may not move without your voice!
We urge you to contact your senators and representatives and tell them the time is now to introduce legislation curtailing assistance to the Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition’s military campaign in Yemen, the one message that may successfully deter the UAE and Saudi Arabia from leading a catastrophic attack on Hudaydah city and port.
Yesterday the UAE gave the UN and foreign NGOs three days to leave Hudaydah before the Emirates and their allies launch an all-out attack on the city. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an attack could cost as many as 250,000 people “everything — even their lives,” and humanitarian organizations have warned that damage to the port, which accounts for the vast majority of the country’s food and fuel imports, could tip Yemen into a long-warned-of famine. Moreover, an attack would sink the negotiations currently being brokered by the new, US-supported UN Special Envoy to Yemen. Though the US government has rhetorically opposed an offensive, the administration appears to be washing its hands of the UAE’s actions and will do nothing to intervene.
Last weekend, the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to renew sales of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) to Saudi Arabia, reversing the Obama administration’s decision to halt such sales due to the munitions’ use against civilians in Yemen. Resuming arms sales to Saudi Arabia while the Saudi-led coalition continues to target civilians and civilian infrastructure with US weapons doubles down on an already tried-and-failed US policy, risks aiding and abetting the coalition’s likely war crimes in Yemen, and violates US and international law.
The YPP condemns the administration’s decision to unconditionally arm Saudi Arabia and calls on Congress to block the sale. Help us send our message to Congress by signing this petition today!
During this week's congressional recess, many members of Congress are holding town hall meetings in their home districts. Other members have similar events scheduled for next week or next month. We encourage you to attend a town hall in your district and ask your representative or senator about America's involvement in Yemen, and the treatment of Yemenis and Yemeni Americans here in the US. We've listed a few great questions below. Use this spreadsheet to find a town hall meeting near you.