40+ Group Coalition Letter Urging House Leadership Defund US Participation in Yemen through NDAA

Contact:
Hassan El-Tayyab, Co-Director at Just Foreign Policy
(508)-241-0888 – [email protected]

David Segal, Executive Director at Demand Progress
(401)-499-5991 – [email protected]

40+ national advocacy groups sent a coalition letter urging House Leadership support Amendment 339 during consideration of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, to end US participation in the Saudi-UAE coalition’s war in Yemen. This letter was sent to House offices on Tuesday, July 9th at 10am. By ending US participation in the Saudi-UAE led coalition’s war in Yemen, Congress can prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from spiraling further out of control as it reasserts its Constitutional authority on matters of war and peace.

“Congress has another opportunity to show that it will not stand idly by as the Trump administration acts with impunity—and disregards the war making authority that the founders vested in the legislative branch—as he facilitates the slaughter of tens of thousands of people, in the name of American allegiance to one of the most vicious regimes on the face of the planet,” said David Segal, Executive Director at Demand Progress.

In their letter the groups stated, “It would be a fitting conclusion to a legislative fight begun in September 2017 to ensure that the Khanna-Schiff provision prohibiting unauthorized U.S. military support activities in Yemen — and other Yemen-related amendments that we also support, including Representative Malinowski’s Amendment 473 to put a one-year ban on bomb sales to the Saudi-UAE coalition — are included in the NDAA that ultimately reaches the President’s desk.  This also would showcase the ability of the new Democratic House majority to ratify its intent in statute, bring an end to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and rein in an intransigent President apparently beholden to the brutal Saudi dictatorship and dismissive of Congress, the Constitution, and the rule of law.”

“Passage of the historic Yemen war powers resolution taught us that a bipartisan majority in both chambers of Congress want to end our involvement in the Saudi-UAE led war on Yemen. They have the momentum and the legislative tools needed to do just that this summer, during consideration of the defense budget. What remains to be seen is if enough members have the resolve to do whatever it takes, including going to the Supreme Court if necessary, to take back their war authority and bring an end to our complicity in the ever worsening Yemen tragedy,” said Hassan El-Tayyab, Co-Director at Just Foreign Policy.

 

July 9, 2019

Dear Chairmen Smith, Engel, and McGovern, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Hoyer:

Our coalition thanks you for your leadership in working to bring about an end to the war and humanitarian crisis affecting the people of Yemen, and for reasserting Congress’s sole constitutional authority over war and peace given the threat posed by President Donald Trump.

In light of your key roles in ensuring the passage of the historic bicameral measure earlier this year, directing the president to end unconstitutional U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, we ask that you do everything in your power to see that Amendment 339 to the National Defense Authorization Act, led by Representatives Ro Khanna and Adam Schiff, be adopted by the House of Representatives and incorporated into the final bill presented to President Trump.

After invoking the War Powers Resolution of 1973 for the first time in 45 years to signal the will of bipartisan, bicameral majorities in Congress that unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen be terminated, the House has an opportunity through Amendment 339 to wield Congress’s power of the purse to effectively override President Trump’s veto to S.J.Res.7 in a must-pass spending bill.

It would be a fitting conclusion to a legislative fight begun in September 2017 to ensure that the Khanna-Schiff provision prohibiting unauthorized U.S. military support activities in Yemen — and other Yemen-related amendments that we also support, including Representative Malinowski’s Amendment 473 to put a one-year ban on bomb sales to the Saudi-UAE coalition — are included in the NDAA that ultimately reaches the President’s desk.  This also would showcase the ability of the new Democratic House majority to ratify its intent in statute, bring an end to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and rein in an intransigent President apparently beholden to the brutal Saudi dictatorship and dismissive of Congress, the Constitution, and the rule of law.

While the devastating U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis it has produced remain as acute as ever—20.1 million Yemenis remain still food insecure—momentum is building for an end to the conflict due to your efforts. The United Arab Emirates, a stalwart Saudi partner in the aerial bombing campaign and blockade of Yemen, is reportedly bringing its involvement to a close because “Emirati officials are increasingly concerned about the impact the war is having on the country’s influence and reputation in Washington,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

We ask that you harness the full force of your leadership roles to ensure that Amendment 339 be widely cosponsored, pass by a convincing margin on the floor of the House, and through aggressive negotiations with the Senate, be incorporated into the final National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Trump.

Sincerely,

  • Action Corps
  • Center on Conscience & War
  • Churches for Middle East Peace
  • CODEPINK
  • Common Defense
  • CREDO
  • Defending Rights & Dissent
  • Demand Progress
  • Engage Action
  • Environmentalists Against the War
  • Foreign Policy for America
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Freedom Forward
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Global Organization
  • Indivisible
  • Just Foreign Policy
  • Love Without Borders
  • Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  • Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
  • MoveOn
  • New Internationalism Program, Institute for Policy Studies
  • New Jersey Peace Action
  • NYU for Yemen
  • Peace Action
  • Peace Action New York State
  • Popular Resistance
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Public Citizen
  • RootsAction.org
  • Students for Yemen
  • The United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
  • The Yemen Peace Project
  • VoteVets
  • Win Without War
  • Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press
  • World BEYOND War
  • Yemen Freedom Council
  • Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation
  • Yemeni Alliance Committee
  • Yemeni Student Association

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