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.
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.
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to initiate the use of force if the U.S. is not under armed attack. But during the Cold War, a bizarre exception to this basic idea of our democracy was introduced and tolerated: the President could start a nuclear war on his own say-so. It was a horrible policy then. There's certainly no excuse for it now. Right now, President Trump could launch thousands of nuclear weapons on his own say-so.
Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit the ability of Trump - or any President - to launch nuclear weapons without Congressional action. The Act would require congressional authorization in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack.
Urge Congress to support the Markey-Lieu bill by signing our joint petition with Win Without War and Daily Kos.