July 9, 2019: Yemen | Letter to U.S. Congress leaders
Freedom Forward joined with 40+ organizations to urge U.S. congressional leaders to stop U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabia and U.A.E.-led Yemen war by passing important amendments to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Letter text below: (PDF here)
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.
Center on Conscience & War
Churches for Middle East Peace
Defending Rights & Dissent
Environmentalists Against the War
Foreign Policy for America
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Just Foreign Policy
Love Without Borders
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
New Internationalism Program, Institute for Policy Studies
New Jersey Peace Action
NYU for Yemen
Peace Action New York State
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Students for Yemen
The United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
The Yemen Peace Project
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