The House leadership’s attempts to undermine the bipartisan House Concurrent Resolution 81, which would end US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen, is failing. On Wednesday, the House unanimously agreed to delay the vote on the resolution to November 2.
The concurrent resolution directs the president to end all military participation in the Saudi war in Yemen immediately, pointing out that Congress never authorized such an operation. Congress has sole discretion to make such a determination, and in over two years of war in Yemen, there’s never been such a vote.
While a lot of America’s ongoing wars are at present not authorized under the War Powers Act, Yemen is a particularly glaring one, because there isn’t even a roundabout argument to be made to try to connect this to the vague AUMF on fighting al-Qaeda. Indeed, in fighting against the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen, the Saudi-led war has greatly enhanced al-Qaeda’s power in the country.
Indications are that support in the House for this resolution is growing, unsurprising given the House’s recent votes on selling arms to the Saudis have been increasingly close. The delay will give the vote’s supporters more time to shore up support.
Those wishing to call their representatives to express support for H. Con. Res. 81 can find contact information here. Under the War Powers Act, any one representative can bring a challenge like this one, so the prospects of the House leadership actually preventing the vote are virtually nil. This means getting the word out about support for the bill is particularly important.