Justin Amash

Congress: Vote NO on Trump's Saudi Arms Deal

There's a big Congressional fight coming on Trump's Saudi arms deal. This deal is controversial because Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are using U.S. weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in Yemen, deliberately trying to create famine in Yemen; and because Trump's Saudi arms deal is widely seen as a U.S. seal of approval for escalation of the catastrophic Saudi-UAE war and blockade.

Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress has thirty days to pass a resolution of disapproval to block the deal. Senators Chris Murphy [D-CT] and Rand Paul [R-KY] and Representatives Mark Pocan [D-WI] and Justin Amash [R-MI] are expected to introduce resolutions of disapproval within days.

On June 16, 2016, the House narrowly failed to block the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. 90% of Democrats and 20% of Republicans voted against giving Saudi Arabia these intrinsically anti-civilian weapons. To block Trump's Saudi arms deal, we have to make this be like the House Saudi cluster bomb vote, and then do just a little better than that - a few more Democrats and/or a few more Republicans.

Pocan, Amash warn Mattis against attacking Yemen's Hodeida port

Today, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Justin Amash (R-MI) led a letter to Defense Secretary Mattis warning him against attacking the Yemeni port of Hodeida. 

A PDF of the letter is here

 

 

 

Call Your Rep.: Trump Must Come to Congress Before Attacking Hodeida

Some in the Trump Administration want to get the U.S. directly involved in Saudi Arabia's war in and blockade of Yemen. U.S. participation in this war has never been authorized by Congress. The Houthi Shia adversaries of the Saudi war aren't "associated forces" of Al Qaeda. On the contrary: Al Qaeda has fought alongside Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, and Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis has strengthened Al Qaeda. Since Congress has never authorized this war, direct U.S. participation would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Reps. Mark Pocan [D-WI], Justin Amash [R-MI], Ted Lieu [D-CA], and Walter Jones [R-NC] are leading a bipartisan letter challenging the Administration to show its legal justification for direct participation in the Saudi war.

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

"As a constituent, I urge you to sign the the Pocan-Amash-Lieu-Jones letter pressing the Trump Administration to show its legal justification for direct U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen."

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

Help Reps. Pocan, Amash Challenge U.S. Role in Saudis' Yemen War

U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war and blockade in Yemen has brought Yemen to the brink of famine, with hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children facing starvation. Instead of ending the carnage, some in the Trump Administration want to get the U.S. directly involved in Saudi Arabia's war. But this war has never been authorized by Congress. The Houthi Shia targets of the Saudi war aren't "associated forces" of Al Qaeda. On the contrary: Al Qaeda has fought alongside Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, and Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis has strengthened Al Qaeda. Since Congress has never authorized this war, direct U.S. participation would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.

Now Reps. Mark Pocan [D-WI], Justin Amash [R-MI], Ted Lieu [D-CA], and Walter Jones [R-NC] are leading a bipartisan letter challenging the Administration to show its legal justification for direct participation in the Saudi war against the Houthis without Congressional authorization. Building support for this letter is a step towards invoking the War Powers Resolution to compel the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the conflict.

Urge your Representative to sign the Pocan-Amash-Lieu-Jones letter by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Asserting War Powers, House Moves To End Afghanistan, Libya Wars

Voting on amendments on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the House of Representatives took action to hasten the end of the wars in Afghanistan and Libya.

Afghanistan

By a 204-215 vote [roll call] - six switchers would have passed the amendment - the House narrowly failed to adopt a bipartisan amendment from Reps. Jim McGovern [D-MA] and Justin Amash [R-MI] that would have required the Department of Defense to develop a plan for an "accelerated transition of military operations to Afghan authorities."

It may seem counter-intuitive to count narrowly failing to adopt an amendment as "taking an action," but in terms of consequences, it is taking action. Getting more than 200 votes sends a signal to the White House: if you don't move - for example, by announcing a significant drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this summer - you could lose the next vote in the House. And if the Administration lost a vote in the House on the Afghanistan war, you can bet that would be front-page news in Europe, weakening the Administration's case to the Europeans for continuing the status quo. It seems likely that the Administration will want to stay one step ahead of the House, rather than face a public defeat. That points toward an accelerated drawdown this year.

If 204 Members were willing to vote yes, it seems extremely likely that 6 House Members who voted no gave a yes vote serious consideration. Indeed, The Hill reports: