Press Releases

Statement on Forthcoming Senate Floor Vote on Yemen War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON, DC — As reported this morning by Politico, Sen. Bernie Sanders will be moving forward with a procedural vote today at 7 pm ET to bring the Yemen War Powers Resolution (S.J.Res.56) to the Senate Floor for a vote. If passed on both the House and Senate floor, this would end unauthorized U.S. support for the Saudi-UAE-led coalition’s offensive operations in Yemen, including logistics, maintenance, and spare parts for the Saudi Royal Air Force. Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen has killed over 400,000 Yemeni civilians and left millions of people on the brink of starvation.

Ahead of the Senate vote, Demand Progress Foreign Policy Advisor Cavan Kharrazian issued the following statement:

“President Biden has said he is looking to work with Congress to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for siding with Putin in the war on Ukraine and its oil price hike for the United States. The Yemen WPR provides the last clear opportunity for Biden to hold Saudi Arabia accountable on these fronts, and is a direct, measured congressional response to Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman for their human rights violations, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We applaud Senator Sanders’ move to hold a vote on this critical resolution, and encourage all Senators to vote in support of the WPR. We have a huge opportunity to remove unauthorized US support for deadly and inhumane actions from Saudi Arabia, and Congress must act immediately.

“The ceasefire in Yemen expired in October, and without a renewed peace agreement, Saudi Arabia could resume its bombing campaign in Yemen with crucial, unauthorized U.S. assistance. With uncertainty over what legislation will be able to pass in next year’s Congress, this could be the last opportunity to pass the Yemen War Powers Resolution.”

In the House, Reps. Jayapal and DeFazio have introduced the corresponding legislation, H.J.Res.87. The WPR currently has broad, bipartisan support with approximately 130 cosponsors. Over 100 national U.S. organizations have called on Congress to pass the Yemen War Powers Resolution. In 2019, both houses of Congress passed bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolutions. They were not implemented because President Trump vetoed them. For three consecutive years, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included language mirroring the Yemen War Powers Resolutions. These were not included in the final bills because they were stripped during the conference process.

WPRs enjoy an expedited path to victory as they require a simple majority to pass; they do not require a filibuster-proof majority. Additionally, WPRs are privileged in the Senate, meaning that any Senator can force a floor vote.