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. 
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, please report them below.
Then "Praise and punish" your Senators by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
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.
On Thursday April 27, a bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators wrote to the ambassador of Saudi Arabia demanding that Saudi Arabia spare the Yemeni port city of Hodeida from military assault to avoid pushing Yemen into famine. The nine Senators were: Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Coons (D-DL) and Ed Markey (D-MA).
Urge your representatives to stand with the nine Senators demanding that "Hodeida must be spared" by signing our petition at MoveOn.
The nine Senators made five demands to help “Prevent Millions of Innocent Yemenis From Starving to Death":
- Lend full support to Secretary Mattis’ call for a political settlement in Yemen.
- Refrain from bombing the port of Hodeida and call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire around the port.
- Reform the inspection regime at the port of Hodeida to eliminate unnecessary delays in the delivery of severely needed humanitarian and commercial supplies.
- Facilitate the delivery of cranes to the port of Hodeida to increase humanitarian aid and commercial capacity.
- Redouble efforts to ensure airstrikes do not hit key economic facilities and civilian infrastructure.
Urge your representatives to join the nine Senators in telling Saudi Arabia "Hodeida must be spared" by signing and sharing our petition.
General Mattis wants to increase U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, including by selling Saudi Arabia even more weapons. In addition to producing humanitarian catastrophe, Saudi Arabia's war is helping Al Qaeda in Yemen. Imitating war profiteer Milo Minderbender in Joseph Heller's Catch-22, who fights on both sides and bombs his own squadron to increase his profits, by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, we indirectly arm Al Qaeda in Yemen, who we're also bombing.
Urge the Senate to address Saudi-Al Qaeda ties before selling more weapons by signing our petition at MoveOn.
"In their fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels," Just Security reports, "the government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and its Saudi backers, have worked with local actors with suspected ties to al-Qaeda. Sometimes this means the targets being tracked by the US are actually cutting deals and getting their hands on weapons thanks to connections they have with the Hadi government and the Saudi-led coalition, to which the US provides support. Laying bare these thorny battlefield alliances in Yemen is crucial as the Trump administration considers stepping up US military involvement in the country."
Saudi Arabia's war and blockade have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. But the Trump Administration wants to sell Saudi Arabia even more weapons. Under U.S. law, weapons exports are supposed to be conditioned on requirements that civilians be protected from their use. Unfortunately, Congressional "oversight" of U.S. weapons exports has often been virtually absent, particularly for countries like Saudi Arabia that have bought a lot of influence in Washington.
Senators Murphy, Paul, Durbin and Franken have now introduced Senate Joint Resolution 40, which would tighten these requirements in the case of Saudi Arabia. Under SJRes40, the Administration would have to publicly certify that Saudi Arabia is complying with international humanitarian law in Yemen and facilitating the flow of aid into Yemen in order for arms sales to proceed.
On September 21, 27 Senators voted against arming Saudi Arabia. The more Senators co-sponsor SJRes40, the more Senate support we have for blocking the sale of weapons if Saudi Arabia doesn't change its behavior in Yemen.
Urge Senators to co-sponsor SJRes40 by signing our petition at MoveOn.
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.
CNN has reported that the Defense Department "might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time," and that the move would "significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks." CNN says "one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests." "Reassuring Turkey" a terrible reason to deploy U.S. troops to danger in Syria.
Urge your Reps. to say sending ground troops to Syria is a terrible idea by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu says, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."
Urge your Senators and Representative to join Chris Murphy, Rand Paul, and Ted Lieu in denouncing the idea of sending U.S. ground troops to Syria by signing and sharing our petition.
As Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has noted, U.S. participation in the Saudi bombing of Yemen has never been authorized by Congress.
Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Saudi Arabia's conduct is now coming under unprecedented scrutiny. New evidence has recently emerged that the U.S. intelligence community believes that the government of Saudi Arabia has been supporting ISIS. But Congress has never voted on whether the U.S. should be refueling Saudi planes that are bombing Yemen, even though U.S. officials have warned that the U.S. could be implicated in war crimes for supporting the Saudi bombing of Yemen.
Under section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, "at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution."
Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing and sharing our petition.
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 groups, minimize 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.
On February 5, the Huffington Post reported that Democratic Senator Chris Murphy had "called for the U.S. to cease military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen."
But according to a New York Times report on Feb. 22, what Senator Murphy called for ending doesn't exist. The Times reported: "Western intervention in Libya, led by France and Britain, has created only greater instability there, while the war in Yemen, waged by Middle Eastern proxies with no overt Western involvement, continues unabated, suggesting no easy answers anywhere in the region."
We've urged other Senators to join Senator Murphy in calling for the U.S. to end its involvement in the Saudi war in Yemen. It's sure not going to help our efforts if the New York Times won't even acknowledge that U.S. involvement exists.
Urge the New York Times to correct the record and to fully acknowledge the U.S. role in the Saudi war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn: