Sanders-Led Group Introduces Bill Calling for Removal of US Forces From Yemen

Sen. Bernie Sanders (L) and Sen. Mike Lee introduce a joint resolution to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen, on Capitol Hill February 28, 2018, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Mike Lee introduce a joint resolution to remove US armed forces from hostilities between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen, on Capitol Hill February 28, 2018, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

As the Trump administration continues to expand the US military’s role in fueling the Saudi-led coalition’s deadly assault on Yemen — which has killed at least 10,000 civilians and sparked “the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis” — a coalition of senators led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bipartisan joint resolution on Wednesday that calls for the removal of American armed forces from the country.

“The bill will force the first-ever vote in the Senate to withdraw US armed forces from an unauthorized war,” Sanders, who will be joined by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) in introducing the resolution, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The US has been heavily supporting Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen for years, supplying the kingdom with weaponry and military intelligence. Last August, the Pentagon acknowledged for the first time that American troops are on the ground in Yemen.

While American complicity in the Yemen crisis is rarely discussed on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives last November overwhelmingly approved a resolution declaring that US military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen is not authorized.

However, this vote was largely symbolic, as the resolution did not call for a halt to American assistance to Saudi Arabia.

With their legislation — titled the Yemen War Powers Resolution — Sanders, Lee, and Murphy are looking to take concrete steps toward ending US complicity in Yemen’s suffering, which Murphy has called “a stain on the conscience of our nation.”

“By continuing to blindly back Saudi Arabia’s starvation campaign, on top of fueling Yemen’s suffering, the US is creating more enemies and fueling the very extremism the War on Terror is supposed to be eradicating,” said Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy at Peace Action, in a statement on Wednesday. “Congress knows this, but Saudi Arabia’s legions of lobbyists on Capitol Hill have convinced some members of Congress to bury their heads in the sand.”

Watch the senators’ press conference introducing the legislation: