Senators should oppose Saudi war

Senators should oppose Saudi war

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee have introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, invoking the War Powers Resolution to force a vote on ending unauthorized U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen.

The Saudi war and blockade in Yemen have produced the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. U.S. participation in the war, including U.S. refueling of Saudi and United Arab Emirates warplanes during their bombing runs, has never been authorized by Congress.

Under the Constitution, Congress, not the president, decides when to authorize the use of force if the U.S. has not been attacked.

The Saudi war against Yemen's Houthis has nothing to do with fighting al-Qaida — indeed, The Associated Press has described al-Qaida in Yemen as a "de facto ally" of Saudi Arabia, and U.S. officials have acknowledged that the Saudi war in Yemen has strengthened al-Qaida.

Last June, Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth were among 47 senators who voted against continuing to arm Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Sen. Durbin has agreed to co-sponsor the Sanders-Lee bill to end U.S. participation in the war.

I urge Sen. Duckworth to join Sen. Durbin in co-sponsoring this important bill, and I urge both to press Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Donnelly of Indiana to back the bill. In June, McCaskill and Donnelly were among only five Senate Democrats to vote to continue arming Saudi Arabia's devastating war.

Now they have another chance to do the right thing and help end the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.