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CPC Applauds Bipartisan Group of Senators for Forcing First-Ever Senate Vote to End Unconstitutional War in Yemen

Washington, D.C.- The Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), joined constitutional authorities, activists, and other CPC leaders in applauding Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) for their introduction of a joint resolution to end the illegal U.S. war alongside Saudi Arabia against Yemen’s Houthis. The Senators’ joint resolution closely parallels bipartisan House resolution H. Con. Res. 81, introduced in September 2017 by CPC Vice Chair Ro Khanna, CPC Co-Chair Mark Pocan, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC). H. Con. Res. 81, which invokes the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to remove U.S. forces from unauthorized hostilities, was co-sponsored by 38 CPC Members and was endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

“By allowing endless, unauthorized wars, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to uphold the Constitution. In the face of what is currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, triggered by our secretive, illegal war in Yemen waged alongside the Saudi regime, we welcome the resolution introduced by Congressional Progressive Caucus founding member, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republican Senator Mike Lee, to remove U.S. forces from that senseless conflict. We strongly urge our Senate colleagues to co-sponsor and vote in support of the Sanders-Lee resolution. For progressives who recognize the unique threat to peace posed by the current president and the far-reaching authorities he has seized, nothing is more urgent than working across the aisle to reassert Congress’s constitutional powers and rein in an out-of-control executive branch.”

-- Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus

“Our nation’s military involvement in Yemen, the worst humanitarian crisis in our modern world, is unconstitutional and unauthorized. I applaud Senators Sanders and Lee for their leadership on their resolution in the Senate. Together, we can work across the aisle to utilize the constitutional powers of Congress and remove our unauthorized forces from conflict in Yemen.”

-- Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), Sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 81

“As one of the first cosponsors of H.Con.Res 81, I’m encouraged by the introduction of the Sanders-Lee joint resolution invoking the War Powers Resolution. The Saudi-led war in Yemen, with U.S. military involvement, has plunged Yemen into one of the world’s most severe famines. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution over President Nixon’s veto, recognizing the danger posed by the use of military force by an unchecked executive. Our secretive, three-year war in Yemen is immoral and illegal—and the Sanders-Lee joint resolution is urgently needed.”

-- Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN)

“We are at a constitutional turning point. Without effective action to enforce the War Powers Act, President Trump’s defiance of its express requirements will not only allow him to continue his bloody intervention in Yemen, but will establish precedents for unilateral warmaking by future presidents. This is why all Americans are in debt to the bipartisan coalition of Senators who have announced plans to require President Trump to remove U.S. forces from the unauthorized Yemen campaign unless and until he obtains explicit Congressional approval. Their move is particularly important, because under the Act’s express terms, their motion cannot be bottled up in committee, but operates as a specially privileged motion which must rapidly be considered in up-or-down votes on the floor of both houses. This is the most practical way Americans will learn where their representatives stand on the vital question of war and peace before carrying out their civic duties and casting informed votes in the coming elections.”

-- Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

“In response to the sprawling U.S. conflicts across Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Congress enacted a constitutional remedy: the War Powers Resolution of 1973. This law is precisely what is needed to end a secretive U.S.-Saudi war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, which has triggered mass starvation and cholera. I urge the Senate to invoke its authority under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution to withdraw unauthorized U.S. forces from Yemen. Not only does this resolution promise to alleviate the suffering of millions of innocent Yemenis, it serves as a potent check on an erratic and bellicose president who is running roughshod over the Constitution – a check whose use is long overdue and may be needed again if Congress is to reassert its dormant authority to control the dogs of war.”

-- Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard

“Ordinary Yemenis' lives have been completely disrupted by the three-year long war on Yemen. If they survive bombardment, they face starvation due to lack of food and water. And without access to basic healthcare, even a simple illness can become life-threatening. While the land, air, and sea blockade keeps food, medicine, fuel and other basic necessities out, it also traps people within, resulting in unprecedented internal displacement. H. Con. Res. 81 briefly restored hope to millions of Yemenis who view this war as a US-Saudi attack on their country, and as such, one that can only end when the US withdraws its support of the Saudis. If passed, the Sanders-Lee joint-resolution companion in the Senate can prevent millions more from suffering unnecessarily.”

-- Shireen Al-Adeimi, Yemeni Activist, Doctoral Candidate, Harvard University

“As an American horrified by my government's secretive role in fueling Yemen's misery, I was proud to support the efforts of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to end this brutal, unauthorized war with the introduction of H. Con. Res. 81 last fall. Thanks to the leadership of Progressive Caucus members like Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan, and now Bernie Sanders, the American people finally have an opportunity to rein in this unconstitutional conflict, end the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe, and have our foreign policy reflect possibilities for peace and the better angels of our nature.”

-- Mark Ruffalo, actor, filmmaker, and social activist

“We have worked tirelessly to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its alleged financial and logistical role in the killing of 3,000 men, women and children on September 11th, yet many in Washington would prefer to shield and reward the Saudi regime as it pursues policies that predictably spawn more terrorism across the world. I wholeheartedly support the bipartisan effort of U.S. Senators to bring a secret U.S.-Saudi war out of the shadows and force a vote to end our unconstitutional U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's attacks on innocent people in Yemen.”

-- Kristen Breitweiser, September 11th widow and advocate

“For 16 years, my fellow September 11th widows and I have been fighting for justice and accountability. We were obstructed by the Bush Administration and then the Obama Administration, but we were vindicated last year when an overwhelming majority of Congress overrode a presidential veto to let us move closer to our day in court against the government of Saudi Arabia. I call on the Senate to show the same courage now as it did when it passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Congress must vote to end unconstitutional U.S. participation in a senseless Saudi-led war that is both fueling Yemen's enormous human suffering while empowering Al Qaeda.”

-- Monica Gabrielle, September 11th widow and advocate

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.

 

 

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