Alex Emmons reports on the new war powers resolution on Yemen introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna today:
On Wednesday, California Democrat Ro Khanna introduced a resolution invoking the 1973 War Powers Act, declaring that Congress never authorized U.S. support for the coalition in Yemen and directing President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from “hostilities” against the Houthis, the Iranian-backed rebel group at war with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The new resolution (H.Con.Res. 138) has many more co-sponsors than last year’s H.Con.Res. 81, and it stands a better chance of being brought to the floor for a vote. The co-sponsors include Democratic ranking members from both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, as well as the minority whip. There is growing opposition in Congress to our policy of unconditionally supporting the Saudi coalition as it pulverizes and starves Yemen. If it is brought to a vote, this resolution offers opponents of the war an opportunity to shut down U.S. support for the coalition once and for all. Since the Trump administration will do nothing to curb or restrain the Saudis and Emiratis, it falls to Congress to do what should have been done years ago.
The Trump administration will fight this resolution just like it fought against the Sanders-Lee resolution in the Senate this past spring, but they will face more opposition this time. The last six months have confirmed just how wrong all of the administration’s pro-war claims have been. U.S. assistance has not reduced the number of civilian casualties, and it has not made coalition forces less likely to harm civilians. On the contrary, the coalition has committed multiple massacres over the last few months, including the Aug. 9 attack on the school bus, and the coalition’s sham investigations of its own attacks have been little more than cover-ups. The Yemen Data Project has documented that the coalition has been hitting non-military targets at a much higher rate in the last few months than in the past, and since they began their attack on Hodeidah civilian casualties have risen rapidly. The administration has discredited its claims by issuing a bogus certification that the Saudi coalition is meeting the requirements laid out by Congress. Now House members can do what the Senate should have done in March by voting to force an end to the illegal U.S. involvement in the disgraceful war on Yemen.