WASHINGTON – The following may be attributed to Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal:
“Today’s unprecedented Senate passage of a War Powers Resolution on a 56-41 vote is an extraordinary step towards ending the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused the world’s largest ongoing humanitarian crisis. The Senate should be praised for taking such bold action to bring the war to a close, and for asserting its authority under the War Powers Act for the first time since it became law 45 years ago.
“Not only will this step serve to contain the ongoing atrocities in Yemen, but it sets a precedent that will serve as a constraint on undue use of military force for decades to come. The margin of victory was substantial enough that passage of another War Powers Resolution appears to be likely even after the Senate’s composition shifts further towards Republicans in January.
“Today’s events are made bittersweet in light of yesterday’s razor-thin vote in the House against proceeding to debate an analogous measure. Debate on the House War Powers Resolution would have moved forward had five Democrats not defected and voted with Speaker Paul Ryan and the bulk of House Republicans.
“House Democratic Leadership’s admission that they did not even whip on the measure — even though most high-ranking Democrats sponsored it, and outside organizations called on them to do so — calls into question Whip Steny Hoyer’s commitment to ending the war. Activists must continue to hold Hoyer, House Democratic Leadership, and all members of the House and Senate accountable and ensure that War Powers Resolutions pass both chambers of Congress as quickly as possible come January.”
Earlier this week Demand Progress and other organizations sent a letter to House Democratic Leadership urging them to whip on the House War Powers Resolution vote. It can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/demandprogress/letters/2018-12-10_Yemen_resolution.pdf
The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein has reported that Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer did not whip on the House vote yesterday. https://twitter.com/JStein_WaPo/status/1073042092199436288
Demand Progress has co-led an online coalition of organizations in support of the Yemen War Powers Resolution effort throughout the year at StopTheWar.us, with hundreds of thousands of constituents emailing their lawmakers, and tens of thousands placing phone calls.