The House is voting this week on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA]. Amendments have been proposed which would attack U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
See if your Rep. is a Republican Member of the House Rules Committee. They're going to have an outsized say on whether we'll get votes this week on ending U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen, because the Rules Committee decides which NDAA amendments come up for a vote on the floor.
Call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"I urge you to support NDAA amendments in the Rules Committee to stop refueling Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen and to ban transferring cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't yet signed our petition to Rules Committee Members urging them to allow these amendments, you can do that here:
There is an apparent split in the foreign policy establishment over diplomacy with Russia to resolve the war in Syria. We want to help the pro-diplomacy faction of the establishment defeat the anti-diplomacy faction of the establishment so we can have less war. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius is a "liberal insider," someone considered "close to the U.S. foreign policy establishment" and he is now advocating for diplomacy with Russia, an “official U.S. adversary”, as the “best path to peace in Syria".
Urge President Trump & Congress to back David Ignatius' call to work with Russia for peace in Syria by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As David Ignatius reported in the Washington Post, the United States and Russia successfully negotiated agreement on a buffer zone and "deconfliction line" in Syria. The agreement allows the United States and its allies to clear the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa, while Russia and the Syrian government take the city of Deir al-Zour. The agreement on the line keeps the combatants focused on fighting the Islamic State, rather than fighting each other.
Members of Congress applauded after the House Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly approved Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment that would revoke the overbroad 2001 law giving the president authority to undertake war against al Qaeda and its affiliates unless a replacement provision is created. The bipartisan vote was a rebuke of President Trump's abuse of this authority to use military force in Syria and Yemen against groups not affiliated with al Qaeda without authorization from Congress. Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican who supported Rep. Lee's amendment, said, "It’s time for leadership to wake up, and the administration to wake up, and send over a recommended AUMF, mark it up and take it to the floor. I don’t know any other way to get their attention because we’ve been talking about it for years."
Unfortunately, House Speaker Paul Ryan called Barbara Lee's amendment a "mistake" and threatened to strip it from the bill.
Urge your Representative & Senators to support & protect Barbara Lee's amendment to sunset the 2001 AUMF by signing our petition at MoveOn.
JFP Welcomes Passage of Barbara Lee Amendment to Sunset 2001 AUMF
Three prominent CNN journalists resigned on June 26 after CNN was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking a Trump ally to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation. The CNN story had been based on a single anonymous source. An internal investigation by CNN management found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.  Buzzfeed reported that CNN has now imposed strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia.
But as Glenn Greenwald noted at The Intercept, the problem is not limited to CNN:
"CNN is hardly alone when it comes to embarrassing retractions regarding Russia. Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false - always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle. In virtually all cases, those stories involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact, only for it to be revealed that they were entirely false.
The Trump Administration has escalated U.S. military attacks against forces associated with the Syrian government - without Congressional authorization. Under the Constitution, such military actions should not happen if they have not been authorized by Congress.
The U.S. military engaged in strikes against pro-government forces on May 18, June 6, and June 8, and shot down armed Iranian-made drones in Southern Syria on June 8 and June 20. On June 18 a U.S. fighter aircraft shot down a Syrian SU-22 bomber, marking the first time the U.S. has downed a manned Syrian aircraft in the course of the Syrian conflict. On June 26, the White House released a statement threatening further military action against the Syrian government.
The key to preventing U.S. military escalation in Syria is getting Members of Congress to speak up in writing against it. In 2013, U.S. military escalation in Syria was prevented because Members of Congress signed letters insisting that President Obama come to Congress for authorization before taking military action.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair Rep. David Cicilline [D-RI] is circulating a letter to President Trump demanding that Trump stop escalating in Syria without Congressional authorization.
Urge your Representative to join the Cicilline letter by signing our petition.
Late on Monday, June 26, the White House threatened military escalation against the Syrian government. US defense officials reached by BuzzFeed News said they were unaware the White House was planning to release its statement. Military officials were caught off guard by the White House statement, the New York Times reported.
Urge your representatives to assert Congress' war powers to challenge Trump's military escalations by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote at the Washington Post, "While Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East."
Congress has never authorized the use of military force against the Syrian government, just as it has never authorized U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress, not the President, decides if the U.S. should use military force against the Syrian government, so long as the Syrian government has not attacked the United States. Attacking Syria without Congressional authorization is an impeachable offense.
Saudi Arabia's extremist monarchy is out of control, and the Trump Administration has proved unwilling or unable to rein it in.
This week, Saudi Arabia's monarchy elevated as its heir Mohammed bin Salman - the man most responsible for the Saudi war and blockade in Yemen that has deliberately pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and ignited a deadly cholera outbreak across the country. 
Then, when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia to articulate "reasonable and actionable" demands for ending its blockade of U.S. ally Qatar - which hosts the largest U.S. base in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia responded by demanding that Qatar shut down broadcaster Al Jazeera, expel non-Qataris from Qatar, stop funding other news outlets including Middle East Eye, and shut down Qatari diplomatic posts in Iran.
Left to its own devices, the Trump Administration is not going to save millions of Yemenis from Saudi-imposed famine. Saudi Arabia has defied the UN Security Council's call for ceasefire. Congress must act.
South Koreans have elected a new president, Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on a pledge to engage in talks with North Korea to freeze and reverse its nuclear program and pursue diplomacy to finally put an end to the Korean conflict. That's a positive development, right? But many in Washington and their allies in big media don't think so. More international tension means more profits for politically influential arms contractors, more fear, more distraction from meeting human needs, at home and abroad.
Later this month, President Moon is traveling to Washington to meet President Trump. Dominant voices in Washington will pressure the South Korean president to toe the pro-escalation line. We're teaming up with a big coalition of groups on a joint petition to generate counter-pressure to keep space open for diplomacy.
On June 15, the United Nations Security Council unanimously called for a cease-fire in the conflict between the Saudi-UAE coalition and the Houthi-Saleh forces in Yemen. "The U.N. Security Council urged the warring parties in Yemen on Thursday to immediately agree on a cease-fire and keep all ports open for humanitarian aid to confront the threat of famine and the rapid spread of cholera," AP reported.
On June 13, using the Arms Export Control Act to force a floor vote, the U.S. Senate narrowly failed to block an arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Senators opposed to the deal stressed the need to end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen rather than escalate it.
"The Saudi-led war in Yemen has created a humanitarian disaster," Senator Bernie Sanders said. "Millions are at the risk of starvation...the chaos in Yemen has also been strategically disastrous for the United States, providing fertile ground for the extremist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS...it is long past time that we begin to take a very hard look at our relationship with Saudi Arabia...it is important that we begin to discuss...the decades long effort by Saudi Arabia to export an ultra-reactionary form of Islam throughout the world."