WASHINGTON – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) hailed today’s historic Senate vote to advance legislation ending American participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It calls on the Senate to immediately vote on final passage, and for the House to also take up this legislation and end illegal military involvement in Yemen’s civil war once and for all.
“Today’s victory is a testament to the power of grassroots activism across the country to bring about change,” said Diane Randall, FCNL’s Executive Secretary. “This vote sets a historic precedent for future action Congress can take to reclaim its constitutional authority over war and end American involvement in wars around the world.”
For the first time in its history, the Senate voted to advance legislation to withdraw U.S. military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Resolution. In today’s vote, the Sanders-Lee-Murphy legislation (S.J.Res. 54) moved forward with a vote of 63-37. In March, Senators declined to take up the same measure in a 55-44 vote.
“This Senate vote should mark the beginning of the end of American complicity in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis,” said Kate Gould, FCNL’s Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. “The Senate sent a strong bipartisan message that there must be consequences for the slaughter of civilians – whether it’s the killing of a Saudi journalist or the indiscriminate bombing of men, women and children in Yemen.”
FCNL is the leading faith-based organization lobbying American policymakers to end support for the Saudi-led war and de-facto blockade of Yemen. The war has plunged the country into the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 14 million people – half of Yemen’s population – on the brink of starvation.
U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Yemen has included arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies, mid-air refueling of coalition aircraft, and targeting and logistical support. While the Trump administration announced a halt to refueling support for the coalition earlier this month, the decision was not binding, and could resume at any time in the absence of legislation signed into law like S.J. Res. 54 and H.Con.Res. 138.
The Senate is expected to take the next and final vote on this legislation in the coming days.
As a Quaker organization, FCNL seeks to end war and all threats of war. To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.