Advisory: Press Conference to Denounce Todd Young-Jeanne Shaheen Bill to Starve Yemeni Children
For Immediate Release
Peace Action - Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain - CODEPINK - Just Foreign Policy
March 12, 2018
Washington - Peace and human rights groups opposed to U.S. participation in the catastrophic Saudi war and blockade in Yemen will hold a press conference on Monday March 12, 2018 at noon in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office building to announce their opposition to the Todd Young-Jeanne Shaheen bill that would continue U.S. participation in the war indefinitely, to call on Young and Shaheen to withdraw their bill, to call on Young and Shaheen to withdraw their threat to substitute the Young-Shaheen bill in place of the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill to end U.S. participation in the war, and to call on Young and Shaheen to pledge to oppose any effort to substitute the Young-Shaheen bill for the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill on the Senate floor.
After the press conference, the groups will go to Shaheen's office and then to Young's office to press their demands. The groups will deliver petitions signed by New Hampshire and Indiana residents in support of their demands.
The Young-Shaheen bill would allow U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen to continue if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "certifies" to Congress that the Government of Saudi Arabia is undertaking "(1) an urgent and good faith effort to conduct diplomatic negotiations to end the civil war in Yemen; and (2) appropriate measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by increasing access for all Yemenis to food, fuel, and medicine."
A bipartisan resolution will soon be introduced in the Senate invoking the War Powers Resolution to force a debate and vote on ending unauthorized U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen.
Reps. Ro Khanna, Thomas Massie, Mark Pocan, and Walter Jones have introduced a privileged bipartisan bill invoking the War Powers Resolution to force a floor vote on ending U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's famine-producing war in Yemen. The current cosponsors are: Conyers, Lieu, Capuano, Ellison, McGovern, Lee, Raskin, Jayapal, Gabbard, Bass, Pallone, DeFazio, Nolan, Lofgren, Cohen, Slaughter, Blumenauer, Norton, Dingell, Walz, Doggett, Welch, Grijalva, Rush, McCollum, Clark, Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Hanabusa, Cooper, Jackson Lee, Labrador, Watson Coleman, and Waters.
If your Rep. is not yet a co-sponsor, call them now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"I urge you to co-sponsor the privileged bipartisan Khanna-Massie resolution to end unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen."
If your Rep. is already a co-sponsor, please thank them for co-sponsoring the bill.
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And you can sign and share our petition to the House here.
On June 13, only five Democratic Senators voted to keep arming Saudi Arabia's famine-inducing war in Yemen: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The vote was 47-53. If these five Democrats had voted with the Senate Democratic leadership and the majority of Senate Democrats - that is, if they had voted like Democrats, like they did on Trumpcare - the Senate would have voted to block the Saudi arms deal.
Senator Todd Young [R-IN] and Senator Jeff Merkley [D-OR] have introduced amendments on the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] which would block the arming of Saudi Arabia's war crimes in Yemen. Senator Young's amendment would prohibit any arms transfers to Saudi Arabia until the Saudis stop bombing hospitals and stop blocking humanitarian aid. Senator Merkley's amendment would prohibit the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.
Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"Stop arming Saudi war crimes in Yemen. Co-sponsor the Young and Merkley amendments."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't signed our petition to the "five Saudi Dems" yet, please do that here.
More than a million malnourished children are living in areas of Yemen hit hardest by a cholera outbreak, NPR reports. Malnourished children have substantially reduced immune systems and are at least three times more likely to die if they contract cholera. Yemen's cholera outbreak is already the world's worst in a single year since records have been kept. Treatment for cholera in Yemen would be straightforward, if it weren't for the U.S.-enabled Saudi-UAE war in Yemen.
UNICEF director Anthony Lake was clear when asked by The Associated Press about how to end the disaster: "Stop the war."
So far, the House Republican leadership has blocked a floor vote on ending U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's Yemen war. But House Members could force a floor vote by invoking their Congressional war powers, since, as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker has acknowledged, Congress never authorized this war.
Urge House Members to force a floor vote on the war to help save a million kids by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Last week, efforts to get a floor vote in the House on U.S. participation in the Saudi-UAE famine-war in Yemen on the Defense Appropriation were blocked by the House Republican leadership.
There's only one path left to force a floor vote in the House on U.S. participation in the Saudi famine-war: press House Members to use their Congressional war powers to force a debate and vote on withdrawing unauthorized U.S. participation from Saudi Arabia's war - just as Dennis Kucinich forced a House vote on U.S. participation in the unauthorized war in Libya in 2011.
Help us force a House vote on Saudi Arabia's famine-war by signing our petition at MoveOn.
U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war is politically vulnerable in the House, if we can force a vote:
- Congress has never authorized U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has nothing to do with the U.S. wars on Al Qaeda or ISIS.
- U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war is a pure "war of choice." It has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. homeland. The Obama Administration began U.S. participation in the war as a "favor" to Saudi Arabia, to "compensate" them for accepting the Iran nuclear deal.
- Saudi Arabia's war is helping Al Qaeda, by creating a security vacuum in Yemen, and because Saudi Arabia is allied with Al Qaeda against the Houthi-Saleh alliance in Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in the world and the worst cholera outbreak in the world. UNICEF says a child is dying in Yemen of preventable causes like malnutrition and diarrhea every ten minutes.
The House is now considering amendments to the Department of Defense Appropriation. The House Rules Committee will decide which amendments will get House floor votes.
Five amendments have been submitted to the Rules Committee that would prohibit or limit U.S. military participation in the Saudi war in Yemen or would limit the transfer of weapons to the Saudi war in Yemen, including explicit prohibition of the refueling of Saudi and UAE planes bombing Yemen and prohibition of the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.
Urge Republicans on the House Rules Committee to allow House votes on ending and limiting U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has announced a plan to remove the governorate of Hodeida from the Yemeni civil war. The plan includes a ceasefire for the port, including the halt of any attacks on the port by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE].
The UN-recognized Yemeni government and Egypt have reportedly announced their support for the plan, but the United States, a key party to the conflict because of its refueling of Saudi and UAE warplanes bombing Yemen, has not yet publicly stated its support. As Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy has said, "The Saudis simply could not operate this bombing campaign without us. Their planes can't fly without US refueling capacity."
Urge Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, to publicly state US support for the UN Envoy's plan to save Hodeida and Yemen from famine by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As you know, on July 14 the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to prohibit U.S. military participation in the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, when it passed the Davidson and Nolan amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].
So far, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR have failed to report this news. The Los Angeles Times reported in an editorial that "the House of Representatives passed several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that call for greater congressional oversight on how U.S. weapons are being used in Yemen," but failed to note that the House passed two amendments that prohibit U.S. military participation in Saudi Arabia's Yemen war. Current U.S. military participation includes refueling the Saudi and UAE warplanes that are bombing Yemen.
Urge the NYT, WaPo, and NPR not to censor the news that the House has voted against U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.