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.”
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.