44 Senators Wanted to Debate, Vote on Sander's Bill
Feb. 28. Senator Sanders and Senator Lee introduced a bi-partisan bill in the Senate to end all U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
This is a moment of celebration: we heard a Senator who less than two years ago was a Presidential candidate say that the U.S. congress has ignored its Constitutional responsibility to authorize war for far too long.
And now we must act: because we can make sure that our Senators support the Sanders-Lee resolution end the U.S. war on Yemen. This vote is expected to happen in 10 days, so we have to put on pressure now.
Acting together, we could stop the U.S. from bombing the Yemeni people, who are sick and starving. Will you make these calls with me?
Here's what you do:
Step 1. Call 1-833-STOP-WAR (aka 1-833-786-7927)
Step 2. Enter your zip code when prompted
Step 3. The service connects you to the first of your two Senators' offices (if you're in New York, it will be Senator Schumer)
Step 4. Tell your Senator's office:
"Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent from New York. I'm calling to ask Senator _______ to support the Sanders-Lee resolution to end the U.S. war on Yemen. 18 million people in Yemen are food insecure, and there is a cholera outbreak impacting 1 million. The war has never been authorized by Congress. I don't believe the U.S. should be involved in an unauthorized war against people who are sick and starving. Please support the Sanders-Lee resolution. Thank you."
Step 5. Press 1* to be connected to your second Senator's office.
Step 6. Repeat Step 4.
I'm going to take these steps every day until the vote, because we know the vote is expected in the next ten days. I hope you will join me.
Because I believe, together, we will win.
Policy Director, Peace Action New York State
March 21. The Bernie Sanders bill that would have used the War Powers Act to end U.S. support for the Saudi War on Yemen was "tabled" on March 20 in the U.S. Senate, but 44 members voted "No". This graphic shows the party vote. This page on senate.gov shows the vote Senator by Senator. This link shows the co-sponsoors of the bill. It's not clear if there was any debate, but certain things can be said:
1. The feared tactic of substituting a meaningless bill for the resolution did not happen (see below).
2. A near majority of Senators wanted to support a bill that would not merely stop sale of a weapons system to the KSA as a signal, but wanted to pass a bill that would actually stop U.S. air refueling, targeting and all the rest.
3. One of the cosponsors of the bill was Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT who in the past was the target of pickets in his home state for NOT opposing the Yemen War and U.S.-Saudi ties. Big progress there.
4. Activist success in winning Bernie Sanders (the single most popular politician in the country) to take the lead on this issue was quite an achievement.
Toothless Senate Bill May Be Substituted
From "Just Foreign Policy" March 11
But now come the Washington dirty tricks to try to protect the Saudi princes and allow their war crimes in Yemen to continue. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana are conspiring with Republican leader Mitch McConnell to sabotage the vote on the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill. They are threatening to try to substitute another bill that would allow U.S. participation in the war to continue in place of the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill to end the war.
The Young-Shaheen bill would allow U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war to continue if the Secretary of State certifies to Congress that the Government of Saudi Arabia is undertaking "(1) an urgent and good faith effort to conduct diplomatic negotiations to end the civil war in Yemen; and (2) appropriate measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by increasing access for all Yemenis to food, fuel, and medicine."
In other words, as long as Trump is happy with the Saudi war let it go on and on.
In your calls tell your Senators to REJECT this approach. Also no matter where you live Contact Senator Shaheen and tell her to stop the sabotage and withdraw her bill.