senate

Saudi-Yemen War-Famine Senate Vote: Praise & Protest

On June 13, 2017, the Senate narrowly failed to vote against Trump's Saudi arms deal, reflecting "mounting concern over the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s war," according to the New York Times. "Nearly half of the U.S. Senate sent an overwhelmingly clear message to Riyadh that ... it needs to stop killing civilians in Yemen," Human Rights Watch said.

The vote was 47-53, with 43 Democrats and 4 Republicans voting against Saudi Arabia and 48 Republicans and five Democrats voting in favor of Saudi Arabia. The Republicans voting against Saudi Arabia's imposition of famine in Yemen were Heller (R-NV), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY), and Young (R-IN). The Democrats voting in favor of Saudi Arabia's imposition of famine in Yemen were Donnelly (D-IN), Manchin (D-WV), McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson (D-FL), and Warner (D-VA). Special scorn goes to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who, while Republican, pretends to care about human rights. Yet Rubio voted to support Saudi Arabia's imposition of famine in Yemen. Special praise goes to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who excoriated Saudi Arabia's export of extremist ideology in a fiery speech on the Senate floor.

Praise and protest your Senators by signing and sharing our petition.

Then call your Senators at 1-855-68-NO-WAR [1-855-686-6927]. If they voted against Saudi Arabia, say: "Thank you for voting against Saudi Arabia's imposition of famine in Yemen." If they voted in favor of Saudi Arabia, say: "Shame on you for voting to support Saudi Arabia's imposition of famine in Yemen." When you've made your calls, report them below.

Your Senator called for opening Hodeida. Urge them to make it so

On March 23, a bipartisan group of ten Senators urged Secretary of State Tillerson to launch an urgent diplomatic effort to address obstacles in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen preventing humanitarian aid from being delivered to people who desperately need it. They specifically called for opening Yemen's Hodeida port to humanitarian aid to avert famine.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"Thank you for calling for opening Hodeida to humanitarian aid. I urge you to use your ability to reject arms deals to force Saudi Arabia to comply with your demand."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

About Yemen, the ten Senators wrote:

"In Yemen, the World Food Program estimates that 80% of the population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. In short, millions of innocent people will starve to death without concerted and urgent action in the coming weeks…In Yemen, we ask that the Department of State work urgently with stakeholders to persuade combatants to permit humanitarian groups increased access to Red Sea ports like Hodeida to deliver much-needed assistance to vulnerable communities."

Former U.S. officials have said that failure to open Hodeida to food imports could tip Yemen into famine.

Tell your Senator to Oppose Private Property Thief David Friedman's Nomination

An apartment building in a West Bank settlement was funded by an organization headed by David Friedman, Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel. The building is financed by American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which Friedman chairs. American Friends of Beit El Institutions raised almost $667,000 for its Israeli counterpart, the Organization for the Sukkat Ovadia Yeshiva of Beit El. The Israeli organization funded construction projects on private Palestinian land. The projects were illegal under Israeli law. The planned apartment building is also to be built on private Palestinian land. True conservatives oppose the government theft of private property.

Your Senator is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which means they decide whether to send Friedman's nomination to the Senate for a confirmation vote. Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, say something like:

"I urge Senator _____ to vote no on David Friedman's nomination to ambassador of Israel. David Friedman chairs an organization that has participated in the theft of private Palestinian land. Senators should not endorse a private property thief to represent the United States."

When you have made your call, please report it below.

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Saudi 9/11 Bill Veto Override

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on overriding the President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act [JASTA]. This bill would remove Saudi Arabia's immunity from lawsuits brought by 9/11 families over the alleged responsibility of Saudi officials for the 9/11 attacks. Override of the President's veto would be a historic repudiation of the previously unaccountable U.S.-Saudi relationship, which has been a root cause of many terribly destructive wars in the region, including the war in Yemen and the war in Syria.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote to override the veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act, so 9/11 families can have their day in court against the Saudi government."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Then call your other Senator at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote to override the veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act, so 9/11 families can have their day in court against the Saudi government."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't signed our petition to Congress yet urging that the veto of JASTA be overridden, you can do that here.

27 Senators who voted to stop the US arms sale to Saudi Arabia

The following Senators voted against tabling a motion to stop the sale of $1.15 billion in tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Effectively, these Senators were voicing opposition to the sale.

Baldwin
Blumenthal
Booker
Boxer
Cantwell
Durbin
Franken
Gillibrand
Heinrich
Heller
Hirono
Kirk
Klobuchar
Leahy
Lee
Markey
Murphy
Murray
Paul
Reid
Sanders
Schatz
Stabenow
Tester
Udall
Warren
Wyden

Vote expected Tuesday on Saudi arms deal - call your Senator!

You can never be sure what the Senate will vote on and when they will vote on it. But currently, a vote on the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal is expected Tuesday.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like,

"I urge you to vote YES on SJ Res 39, the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Human Rights Watch says hundreds of civilians—including at least 200 children—have been killed so far in U.S.-enabled unlawful Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. But despite extensive documentation by Human Rights Watch of these violations, the US continues to fuel the conflict. After selling over $20 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia in 2015, some in Washington want to add another $1.15 billion dollars in arms sales.

That why Human Rights Watch is calling on the Senate to pass the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution. Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 now. Report your call below.

Sign a Petition Directed To Your Senator Against the Saudi Arms Deal

We've made petitions localized to each state where we have a plausible story that there's a Senator there who could be an early co-sponsor of the resolution against the Saudi arms deal - if they heard a groundswell from constituents.

If your state is on the following list, please click the state's link to sign and share the petition for your state, directed to your Senator(s).  

Urge your Senator to support Murphy-Paul res.to block Saudi arms deal

On Sept. 8, Senators Chris Murphy [D-CT], Rand Paul [R-KY], Al Franken [D-MN], and Mike Lee [R-UT] introduced a bipartisan resolution - SJ Res 39 - to stop the sale of $1.15 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia that would be used to fuel the war in Yemen.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"Please support SJ Res 39, the Murphy-Paul-Franken-Lee resolution to BLOCK the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't yet signed our petition urging Congress to block the deal, you can do that here.

Sen. Reed: Renounce Your Support of Cluster Bombs

On June 16, the House of Representatives narrowly failed to approve an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Conyers [D-MI] that would have blocked the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used U.S. cluster bombs in civilian areas in Yemen, in defiance of U.S. law.

Textron, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is the last North American producer of cluster bombs, and has the contract to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. Some opponents of the amendment cited this as a reason for their opposition - banning the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia might hurt the profits of a U.S. company. Rhode Island's Representatives in the House, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, rejected this argument - they did the right thing and voted yes on the Conyers amendment.

But Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is leading the charge to keep the flow of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia going. Textron has been one of Reed's top campaign contributors.

Urge Jack Reed to do the right thing and renounce his support of cluster bombs by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Call-in: Tell your Senator to Set New Conditions on Military Aid to Saudi Arabia

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. from continuing to support Saudi-led military campaigns in places like Yemen where Saudi Arabia's year-long campaign has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis and a security vacuum that has empowered our terrorist enemies al Qaeda and ISIS. The Murphy-Paul bipartisan legislation will require the President to formally certify that the government of Saudi Arabia is demonstrating an ongoing effort to target terrorist groupsminimize harm to civilians, and facilitate humanitarian assistance before Congress can consider the sale or transfer of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia. 

Urge your Senator to co-sponsor the Murphy-Paul bill by calling their office now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

"The civil war we've supplied in Yemen is prolonging human suffering in Yemen and aiding groups that are intent on attacking us. I urge you to support the Murphy-Paul bill to place new conditions on U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia." 

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't signed our petition at MoveOn yet, you can do that here.