The following are some excerpts from the article at The Intercept. Click the link to read the full article.
THE BIPARTISAN PUSH to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen has gained political momentum but faces resistance from the No. 2 Democratic lawmaker in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
H.Con.Res.81, the resolution sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.; Tom Massie, R-Ky.; and 34 other lawmakers, utilizes a provision of the War Powers Act to swiftly terminate U.S. military assistance for the Saudi-led war effort.
Several activists working to build support for the measure have told The Intercept that Republican caucus leaders and Hoyer, the minority whip, are pressuring lawmakers to avoid sponsoring the legislation.
“I’ve been making the rounds on the Hill, and I’ve heard from Hill offices that behind the scenes, House Democrats are being urged by Congressman Hoyer’s office not to sign on to H.Con.Res.81,” said retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff. Wilkerson, who opposes the war, has been working with other human rights activists to end American involvement in the conflict.
Katie Grant, a spokesperson for Hoyer’s office, did not deny the congressman’s opposition to the resolution and instead issued a statement indicating that negotiations are ongoing. “Whip Hoyer is working with Rep. Khanna, Republican and Democratic leadership, and the Foreign Affairs Committee to find a way forward,” Grant said.
Even as Hoyer works to dissuade lawmakers to cosponsor the resolution, he is also trying to avoid a special Rules Committee decision by House Republicans that would effectively kill the legislation before it receives a vote, according to a legislative aide with firsthand knowledge of the deliberations who is not authorized to speak publicly on the subject. As it is currently written, the resolution has privileged status under the War Powers Act of 1973, meaning it will make it to the floor for a vote regardless of what happens at the committee. Anti-war advocates are concerned that the Republican leadership will strip the legislation of its privileged status, which means the resolution will have no chance.
The resolution to end U.S. support for the war spotlights an ideological divide within the Democratic Party on foreign policy. Hoyer voted for the war in Iraq and is generally seen as one of the more hawkish members of the party.
Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the fouth ranking Democrat in the House, said he “is concerned about what is happening in Yemen and hopes Republicans will allow debate on the floor,” but he stopped short of saying he would co-sponsor the resolution. Crowley “will continue to review this important issue,” his spokesperson told The Intercept.
Over the weekend, 65 human rights and activist groups signed a letter to Congress urging support for the resolution.
“This war of attrition has been waged using U.S. weaponry, military support, and personnel without congressional authorization for far too long,” the letter declares. “As the Trump Administration has consistently ignored human rights and civilian harm in its national security decisions, and looks to take a more aggressive posture in the region, Congress must send a clear signal that U.S. military involvement in Yemen’s civil war requires congressional authorization.”