Tell Your Representative to Reject the War in Yemen

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The Senate has passed the resolution to end our involvement in the war in Yemen. Now, the House must pass it one more time to send it to Trump's desk. Call your Representative and tell them: vote against any motion to recommit on this bill, and vote for H.J.Res. 37!

Get the Script

The United States is enabling war crimes in Yemen, and even Trump’s most vocal enablers are turning against him on this one. The Republican-controlled Senate voted to end U.S. support for Saudi war crimes in Yemen, since Trump won’t do it himself.

The Democratic-controlled House also voted to end U.S. support for this cruel war in February 2019, but, in order to send it to Trump’s desk, they must now pass it one more time. Their task is to reject any Republican procedural maneuvers to derail this historic bill’s passage.

Confused yet? Here’s what you need to know.

What exactly is the war in Yemen? How is the U.S. involved?

It’s a complicated situation but, in short: Yemen is involved in a civil war, with Saudi Arabia leading a coalition to support one side, and Iran supporting the other side. Many experts characterize it as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The United States supports the Saudi-led coalition. This has mainly involved providing refueling services for airstrikes, selling weapons to the Saudis, and sharing intelligence for targeting. This support is essential to the continuation of Saudi’s air campaign that continues to target civilian areas and vital civilian infrastructure in violation of international law.

Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East, and the war has only made a bad situation worse. It’s the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and the United States is complicit.

This war didn’t start with Trump—the United States has been helping the Saudis commit war crimes in Yemen for years now. But Trump’s administration has doubled down by increasing the U.S. military’s role in the Yemen conflict and increasing arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

There’s another huge factor here: this war is not only terrible policy, it’s completely unconstitutional. Congress, not the President, is supposed to decide where we go to war and when. And Congress has never authorized this war.

What does the Jamal Khashoggi murder have to do with Yemen?

Yet again, Trump is siding with authoritarians over Americans.

It is clear by now that American resident, Washington Post contributor, and frequent Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, based on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi government.

It is also clear that Trump has no plans to meaningfully hold the Saudis accountable. Over and over, he and his administration keep echoing Saudi talking points and participating in the cover-up.

There’s now a pattern: from Vladimir Putin to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trump would rather stand with hostile foreign regimes than the American people.

It shouldn’t be that hard for Trump to denounce Saudi Arabia’s murder of an American resident and take steps to actually hold them accountable—so why isn’t he doing that?

As usual, Trump has given us clues by saying the quiet part out loud. He’s spoken openly about the billions of dollars the Saudis spend on American weapons, padding defense contractors’ pockets. (By the way: war profiteering long predates the Trump administration, Trump just admits it bluntly).

But there’s more. Trump and his war cabinet are obsessed with “countering Iran” (read: building up to a new war) and consider Saudi Arabia an important ally in doing that.

Additionally, as is so often the case with Trump, his foreign policy is guided by his own corruption and conflicts of interest. The Saudis pour millions into Trump’s hotel business, and he has stated openly that these business entanglements are a major reason he doesn’t want to criticize them.

Bottom line: the Saudi government murdered a U.S. resident in order to silence him. The Saudi government depends heavily on U.S. military assistance. The best opportunity to hold the Saudis accountable is to withdraw U.S. support for their war crimes in Yemen.

So, why does the House have to vote again?

Both the Senate and the House have now passed a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

Here's a link where you can see how your Representative voted.

Here's a link where you can see how your Senators voted.

Unfortunately, Republicans have been weaponizing a procedural tool called “motions to recommit” to derail progressive victories. You can read more about the motion to recommit (MTR) in our explainer here. When this resolution passed the House the first time, Republicans introduced a bad-faith MTR with language condemning anti-Semitism, and Democrats adopted it. Obviously, both parties overwhelmingly agree anti-Semitism is a problem and should be condemned.

However, the Yemen resolution is a privileged resolution, which means it had to be worded a certain way in order to retain its “privilege” to allow senators to force a vote on the Senate floor (without going through Mitch McConnell). When the House approved the extra language, it stripped the bill of its privilege. So, the Senate had to take up a clean resolution instead, and now the House and Senate versions don’t match.

Bottom line: in order to send this bill to Trump’s desk, the House must now pass it WITHOUT approving a motion to recommit (MTR). Republicans are sure to try to derail the bill again with a political ploy to tempt Democrats into voting for it, but they must stand strong. We must tell Representatives: pass the Yemen resolution, and reject the motion to recommit.