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Demand Progress on Today's Yemen Hearings

WASHINGTON - Today the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will each be hosting subcommittee hearings on the crisis in Yemen and U.S. foreign policy on Yemen. Lawmakers will be hearing from and asking questions of the U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen, Timothy Lenderking.

For the past few years, Demand Progress has been working with Congress and civil society to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen, which has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Particularly, we have urged Congress to exercise its constitutional jurisdiction over war-making by passing bi-partisan War Powers Resolutions to end U.S. support for hostilities in Yemen—which it eventually did in 2019, only to be vetoed by former President Trump. Since then, we have continued supporting War Powers Resolutions, amendments to cut off U.S. funding that supports the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen, and have hosted several panels for congressional staffers to educate them on the issue. 

While we were appreciative of President Biden’s declared end of support for offensive operations in Yemen in February, we remain concerned that many clarification questions submitted by lawmakers over what ending U.S. support for the war would entail have been ignored by the Biden Administration. This is especially worrisome, as the U.S.-backed Saudi blockade on Yemen continues to accelerate the country’s humanitarian crisis. Moreover, we believe that Congress should be more assertive of its role to determine whether to go to war and when to end wars. 

If useful, here's a quote from Cavan Kharrazian, Progressive Foreign Policy Campaigner at Demand Progress:

"At today's hearings, we are eager to hear from Mr. Lenderking about the Biden Administration’s responses to the lawmakers’ questions in February. We urge Congress to insist on answers to what steps the Administration has taken since President Biden declared an end for U.S. support for 'offensive operations' in Yemen. Americans have a need to know the administration’s definition of 'offensive operations.' Mr. Lenderking must explain why the Biden Administration has not undertaken substantive efforts to pressure Saudi Arabia to lift the blockade on Yemen."

Demand Progress will be watching these hearings closely, and are happy to discuss the hearings further. Please reach out if you'd like to chat with a member of our team.

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