NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

BREAKTHROUGH: U.S. House votes to stop abetting Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war

In a sting­ing, long over­due, and much need­ed rebuke of the Trump regime, the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives today vot­ed over­whelm­ing­ly to end Amer­i­can mil­i­tary assis­tance for Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s incred­i­bly destruc­tive war in Yemen.

Eigh­teen Repub­li­cans crossed over to join two hun­dred and thir­ty Democ­rats in pass­ing House Joint Res­o­lu­tion 37, spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ro Khan­na, which car­ries the title Direct­ing the removal of Unit­ed States Armed Forces from hos­til­i­ties in the Repub­lic of Yemen that have not been autho­rized by Con­gress.

“The House res­o­lu­tion is a rare use of the 1973 War Pow­ers Act, which gave Con­gress the abil­i­ty to com­pel the removal of mil­i­tary forces absent a for­mal dec­la­ra­tion of war,” observed New York Times reporters Catie Edmond­son and Char­lie Sav­age. “Those pow­ers, cre­at­ed in the wake of the Viet­nam War, have almost nev­er been used, as law­mak­ers have demurred from inter­ven­ing in polit­i­cal­ly sen­si­tive mat­ters of war, peace and sup­port for the troops.”

“Today is his­toric,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Khan­na in a state­ment.

“This is the cul­mi­na­tion of sev­er­al years of leg­isla­tive efforts to end our involve­ment in the Sau­di war in Yemen. I’m encour­aged by the direc­tion peo­ple are push­ing our par­ty to take on for­eign pol­i­cy, pro­mot­ing restraint and human rights and with the sense they want Con­gress to play a much larg­er role.”

“I applaud all cospon­sors for sup­port­ing this his­toric effort and thank my 248 col­leagues who vot­ed yes on pas­sage today, espe­cial­ly Speak­er Pelosi and Leader Hoy­er, HASC Chair Smith, HFAC Chair Engel, Rules Chair McGov­ern, CPC Co-Chair Pocan and near­ly one hun­dred cospon­sors of my res­o­lu­tion.”

“I’d also like to thank Sen­a­tor Sanders for being my thought part­ner and co-lead on this work in the upper cham­ber. There are many par­ties who played an instru­men­tal role in mak­ing this hap­pen, includ­ing Keane Bhatt, who is the fel­low at the Con­gres­sion­al Pro­gres­sive Cau­cus. And Geo Saba, my nation­al secu­ri­ty advi­sor.”

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west was along par­ty lines:

Vot­ing Aye: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, Den­ny Heck (WA); Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Kurt Schrad­er, Peter DeFazio (OR)

Vot­ing Nay: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Dan New­house, Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Mike Simp­son and Russ Fulcher (ID), Greg Gian­forte (MT), Don Young (AK)

The eigh­teen Repub­li­cans who crossed over to join the Democ­rats are from the extrem­ist, mil­i­tant right wing “Free­dom” Cau­cus.

Anoth­er Repub­li­can, Justin Amash of Michi­gan, vot­ed “Present”.

U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Adam Smith, the Chair of the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, issued the fol­low­ing state­ment after the vote.

“The civ­il war in Yemen has led to the world’s worst human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis with over half of the pop­u­la­tion fac­ing severe food inse­cu­ri­ty and twen­ty-one mil­lion Yeme­nis in need of human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance. Pas­sage of this res­o­lu­tion in the House sends a clear mes­sage to this Admin­is­tra­tion that Con­gress does not sup­port the Unit­ed States’ de fac­to sup­port for the Sau­di-led coali­tion in this con­flict.”

“Con­gress must con­tin­ue to exer­cise much-need­ed over­sight of this Admin­is­tra­tion, and any Amer­i­can involve­ment can and must be debat­ed trans­par­ent­ly. The Unit­ed States should be focused on work­ing towards a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to this con­flict and tak­ing mea­sures to alle­vi­ate the dev­as­tat­ing human­i­tar­i­an sit­u­a­tion.”

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One Comment

  1. Bizarrely, Rep Schri­er broke ranks with the Wash­ing­ton del­e­ga­tion to sup­port the Repub­li­can amend­ment allow­ing the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion to use US assets in select­ing tar­gets in Yemen.

    As a WA 8 con­stituent and vet­er­an, I am out­raged. There are no US inter­ests in Yemen, we should not be assist­ing an ‘ally’ in geno­cide.

    # by KC Shankland :: February 14th, 2019 at 9:12 AM