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44 Senators Made History by Voting to End Illegal US War in Yemen

By Kate Gould, March 29, 2018


In the first-ever vote on withdrawing U.S. armed forces from an unauthorized war, 44 Senators voted to remove U.S. troops from the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

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On March 20, 44 senators made history by supporting the first-ever vote on withdrawing U.S. armed forces from an unauthorized war. While the Senate missed this opportunity to end the war, it is a welcome development that 44 senators took an important step toward restoring congressional authority over decisions on war and peace, as required by the Constitution, and toward ending U.S. collusion in the famine-inducing Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Press Release 44 Senators Made History by Voting to End Illegal US War in Yemen 

In first-ever vote on withdrawing U.S. armed forces from an unauthorized war, 44 Senators voted to withdraw U.S. troops from the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

FCNL applauds the 44 senators who voted in support of S.J. Res. 54, the Sanders-Lee-Murphy legislation to withdraw U.S. armed forces from the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

On the very same day the Saudi Crown Prince visited the White House and Capitol Hill, this historic vote sent a crystal clear message that U.S. complicity in the Saudi-led slaughter of Yemeni men, women, and children must end.

It is fitting that this historic vote occurred on the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a sobering reminder of the catastrophic consequences of the decision to go to war. Since that fateful day, it is staggering how rarely Congress has voted on or debated U.S. wars around the globe. The Sanders-Lee-Murphy legislation forced the Senate to both debate and vote on a war that the U.S. has waged in the shadows for three years.

Despite Trump’s White House and Saudi-funded lobbyists teaming up to run a full-court press on Capitol Hill, the momentum to end this war continues to build. Opponents of this legislation took to the floor today to argue in favor of ending this famine-inducing war, and justified their vote on the grounds of favoring action in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) over S.J. Res. 54. We look forward to working with SFRC leadership and members to ensure that meaningful action is taken, which the committee has failed to do for more than three years.

Today’s debate, as well as the courageous vote by 44 senators, is owed in no small part to the indomitable power of citizen activists in every state who generated tens of thousands of calls and emails to ensure Yemen topped every senator’s agenda.

The groundswell of grassroots activism to end this war is not going to let up until this illegal war ends, and U.S. pilots stop fueling U.S.-made bombers to rein down U.S.-made bombs on schools, hospitals and neighborhoods. The U.S. must stop literally fueling the deliberate killing and starvation of countless civilians in Yemen and support a peaceful solution to end this crisis.

Learn more:

Update Trump pressures Saudi Arabia on Yemen blockade 

Kate Gould, legislative director for Middle East policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, said Trump’s statement Wednesday was a welcome development.

FCNL in the News The largest humanitarian crisis in the world 

“Those bombs are being dropped on markets and weddings and funeral homes and water treatment facilities that are creating the kind of humanitarian crisis that I should talk about,” Gould said.

FCNL in the News US senators want vote to end support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen war 

“Under this legislation, no longer would U.S. pilots serve as gas station attendants in the sky to refuel Saudi and UAE bombers that rein down terror on Yemeni men, women and children,” said Kate Gould, of the anti-war advocacy group Friends Committee on National Legislation.

FCNL in the News Echoes of Colin Powell: Nikki Haley’s recent Yemen push mirrors the Bush Iraq intelligence failures 

"Intelligence is, of course, supposed to be used to make a decision," Kate Gould, the Legislative Director for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation told Salon. "Not to market political propaganda, and that's what we're seeing on display here."

Kate Gould

  • Legislative Director, Middle East Policy

Kate Gould is FCNL's Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. Kate is one of only a handful of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. working to advance human rights objectives and support diplomatic solutions to resolve disputes between the U.S. and Iran and the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel/Palestine.