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U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer Tries To Block Halt to Saudi Bombing in Yemen

Nov. 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer is blocking a bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to end U.S. support for the Saudi bombing of Yemen.

Hoyer is trying to defeat H. Con.Res.81, a resolution sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and 34 other Congress members to end U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led war effort. The resolution calls on President Trump to remove U.S. military forces from the fighting in Yemen within 30 days. The resolution would not impede U.S. military action against Al Qaeda in Yemen.

The Intercept reports that Hoyer and Republican caucus leaders are pressuring Congress members not to sponsor the legislation.

Saudi bombing of Yemen’s civilian infrastructure and blockade of Yemen’s main port has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century. Nearly 25% of the country’s 28 million residents are starving, and thousands, mostly children, are dying of cholera, as shipments of food and medicine are blocked.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), who opposes the war in Yemen, told The Intercept,

"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."

Hoyer is also trying to avoid a special Rules Committee decision by the House Republicans that would effectively kill the legislation before it receives a vote. Currently, the Resolution has privileged status under the War Powers Act of 1973, which means it will make it to the floor for a vote regardless of what happens at the committee. Those opposed to the Yemen war are afraid that the Republican leadership will strip the legislation of its privileged status, which means the resolution will have no chance.

On Oct. 30, the 75-member Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed the Yemen resolution, calling for a swift end to "the senseless suffering of Yemeni victims of the U.S. Saudi military campaign, millions of whom are on the brink of starvation."