Congress Has a Chance to Reject the War on Yemen
Today the Senate is expected to vote on the motion to proceed for S.J.Res. 54, the Sanders-Lee-Murphy resolution that advanced to the floor two weeks ago by a 63-37 vote. There are likely enough votes to pass the motion to proceed, and that will clear the way for the resolution to be considered for final passage before the end of the year. The Senate has an opportunity to strike a blow against unauthorized, illegal warfare and against a despicable Yemen policy that the vast majority of Americans doesn’t support.
In the House, Reps. Ro Khanna and Thomas Massie have brought up a new version of the antiwar resolution that the House Republican leadership torpedoed last month. Last night, the Rules Committee tacked on a provision to the rule for the farm bill that would de-privilege the new resolution, H.Con.Res 142:
Wow. The rule for the Farm Bill approved tonight by House Rules strips privilege from any War Powers resolution that limits US involvement in Yemen for the rest of the year. The rule still must pass the House. https://t.co/iGFtIJRutupic.twitter.com/jqEOYF6PWi
— Connor O’Brien (@connorobrienNH) December 12, 2018
Rep. Massie condemned the maneuver in an interview:
“This is definitely not America First. We shouldn’t be spending our blood and treasure in the Middle East, and furthermore on another level, we shouldn’t be jeopardizing the passage of domestic policy and domestic spending with a foreign policy/ war issue,” Massie told Breitbart News. “In other words, if you’re putting America First, why would you jeopardize passage of the Farm bill by sneaking in the War in Yemen through the Farm bill?”
“It’s not America First; it’s not putting America’s farmers first,” Massie added. “I don’t’ think they would be excited find out that Paul Ryan used their bill to pull these shenanigans.”
Rep. Khanna spoke out against it earlier today:
Once again the GOP is using parliamentary tricks to block our effort to end the devastating war in Yemen. Every 10 minutes a Yemeni child is dying. @SpeakerRyan is using his remaining power to protect the Saudis who are aligned w/ al-Qaeda and murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. pic.twitter.com/FAtRdAc54W
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) December 12, 2018
The House votes this afternoon on the rule, so there is a chance that the rule will be voted down and the resolution will survive. Regardless, this marks the second time this year and the third overall that the House GOP leadership has tried to torpedo an important antiwar measure. Rep. Walter Jones denounced the latest attempt:
This extraordinary and reckless move by leadership is a slap in the face to both the Constitution and the War Powers Act. I urge all of my colleagues to reject this rule, and STOP using our constitutional responsibility as a bargaining chip. https://t.co/faPLw0XWlh
— Rep. Walter Jones (@RepWalterJones) December 12, 2018
Congress has neglected its responsibilities in matters of war for a very long time. Today both the House and the Senate have opportunities to do their constitutional duty and to begin extricating the U.S. from a truly shameful, unnecessary war.
Update: The House voted to approve the rule on the farm bill, 206-203.
Second update: The motion to proceed on S.J.Res. 54 passed 60-39.