The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sanders, Leahy, and Warren Introduce War Powers Resolution to End U.S. Involvement in Saudi War in Yemen

Sanders Can Call for Vote on Privileged Resolution Before End of July Work Period


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), on Thursday introduced a joint resolution in the Senate to direct the removal of U.S. Armed Forces from unauthorized involvement in the war between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen. The resolution, which is supported by a bipartisan group of more than 100 members of Congress in the House, is considered privileged in the Senate and can receive a vote on the floor as soon as ten calendar days following introduction.

"We must put an end to the unauthorized and unconstitutional involvement of U.S. Armed Forces in the catastrophic Saudi-led war in Yemen and Congress must take back its authority over war," said Sen. Sanders. "More than 85,000 children in Yemen have already starved and millions more are facing imminent famine and death. More than 70 percent of Yemen's population currently rely on humanitarian food assistance and the UN has warned the death toll could climb to 1.3 million people by 2030. This war has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis today and it is past time to end U.S. complicity in those horrors. Let us pass this resolution, so we can focus on diplomacy to end this war."

"The war in Yemen has been an unmitigated disaster for which all parties to the conflict share responsibility," said Sen. Leahy. "Why are we supporting a corrupt theocracy that brutalizes its own people, in a war that is best known for causing immense suffering and death among impoverished, defenseless civilians? Congress never agreed to this war. Absent a congressional declaration of war that is required by the Constitution and the War Powers Act, Congress should end U.S. support for the Saudi military's indiscriminate bombing, naval blockade, and other involvement in Yemen."

"Millions of innocent Yemenis have endured untold suffering and a humanitarian catastrophe since the Yemeni civil war began," said Sen. Warren. "The American people, through their elected representatives in Congress, never authorized U.S. involvement in the war - but Congress abdicated its constitutional powers and failed to prevent our country from involving itself in this crisis. The U.S. must immediately end its support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen unless explicitly authorized by Congress."

While there is currently a fragile cease-fire that has halted Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on civilians, there remains an inhumane aerial and naval blockade in place that is limiting travel and preventing food, fuel, and medical supplies from entering Yemen. Since the war began in 2015, more than 377,000 people have been killed - 60 percent of which can be attributed to nonmilitant reasons such as hunger, disease, and lack of clean water. In that time, the Saudi-led coalition has conducted over 23,000 airstrikes in Yemen that have killed almost 19,000 civilians, all while the U.S. has administered almost $55 billion in military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

At the start of his administration, President Biden pledged to halt support for Saudi-led "offensive" operations in Yemen. Unfortunately, the U.S. continues to provide maintenance, logistics support, and spare parts that enable the Saudi Air Force to continue to operate. The Yemen War Powers Resolution would follow through on Biden's pledge by ending U.S. support for Saudi-led attacks on Yemen, including:

  1. Ending U.S. intelligence sharing for the purpose of enabling offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes.
  2. Ending U.S. logistical support for offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes, including the provision of maintenance and spare parts to coalition members flying warplanes which are bombing Yemen.
  3. Prohibiting U.S. military personnel from being assigned to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany Saudi-led coalition forces engaged in hostilities without specific statutory authorization.

United States Senator for Vermont

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