With the advancement in a House committee on Wednesday of a measure to help end U.S. complicity in the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, anti-war voices are urging constituents to ramp up pressure on lawmakers to pass the joint War Powers Resolution in both chambers.
#HFAC (@HouseForeign) just passed bipartisan @RoKhanna Yemen war powers resolution #HJRes37 (ending US military support for Saudi-led intervention in Yemen not authorized by Congress) out of committee 25-17! We hope for a vote on the #HouseFloor this month! #YemenCantWait pic.twitter.com/yzV3b4CtRF
— Win Without War (@WinWithoutWar) February 6, 2019
— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) February 6, 2019
The House version of the resolution, H.J.Res.37, is sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). Following its markup in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, he said, "More than 14 million Yemenis—half the country—are on the brink of famine, and at least 85,000 children have already died from hunger and disease as a result of the war. Let's end American complicity in the atrocities in Yemen."
The U.S. has helped fuel the disaster with weapons, logistical assistance, and refueling of aircraft so the Saudi-led coalition can wage its bombing campaign. Ostensibly targeting Yemen's Shiite rebels, the military campaign has committed "accidents"—schools and hospitals have repeatedly been hit and thousands of civilians—including many children—killed.
Addressing those potential war crimes, committee chair Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said, "We cannot look the other way when it comes to the recklessness with which the Saudi-led coalition has conducted its operations. In Yemen I'm not just talking about one tragic screw-up, though that would be bad enough. The coalition's operations have been characterized by strike after strike after strike that has resulted in unnecessary civilian casualties. A school bus full of children, a wedding, a funeral."
"And these mistakes have been compounded by a lack of real accountability," he added.
These are the costs of the Saudi-led War in Yemen
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-17,000+ people killed
-3 million internally displaced
-22 million in need of aid
-The worst cholera outbreak in history
So why don't we hold Saudi Arabia to the same human rights standards as other countries? pic.twitter.com/pBCs1xpW2C
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) February 6, 2019
Murphy reiterated his call to end U.S. involvement in the carnage on Tuesday following a CNN investigation that Saudis have reportedly provided U.S. weapons to al-Qaeda forces in Yemen. "This investigation needs to be a wake-up call. Congress should immediately pass our bipartisan War Powers Resolution to get us out of the war in Yemen that has gone horribly wrong, and we must stop selling weapons to help Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to perpetuate this disastrous war," Murphy said.
With votes coming up in both chambers on the resolution, Peace Action's Paul Kawika Martin said, "Now is the time to call your lawmakers!"
Under the leadership of @HouseForeign Chairman @RepEliotEngel, the committee just marked up #HJRes37 with all @HouseDemocrats present on the committee supporting. Unfortunately, no Republicans supported. Now is the time to call your lawmakers! #YemenCantWait https://t.co/iBuPyKhCIj
— Paul Kawika Martin (@PaulKawika) February 6, 2019