Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT) has reversed his decision to force a vote on a War Powers Act resolution on ending American support and funding for the War in Yemen after it became clear that either President Biden, or others in the White House were pressuring Democrats to vote against it.
Sanders believed according to reports that something in the resolution’s language was unsatisfactory to the White House, and SF Gate reported that it was because the administration believed the resolution would hinder ongoing efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in the country.
WaL has reported before that the US has had virtually no impact on any of the reductions in violence experienced in the country this year, including a ceasefire which initiated in the holy month of Ramadan, and extended all the way to October. This was the effort of the UN’s special envoy Hans Grundberg and had nothing to do with his counterpart in D.C., Timothy Lenderking.
Sanders announced Tuesday evening he would inquire if the White House was willing to “work with us on crafting language that would be mutually acceptable,” but said, according to Antiwar, that he would bring the prepared War Powers resolution back to the floor if it wasn’t.
Such legislation for ending all US support, funding, and deployments over Yemen was passed in the House and Senate in 2019 but vetoed by Trump. The votes had likely been there to override the veto, but Congress chose not to do so. Sanders believes Biden would also veto the bill.
Some of the breakaway Democrats, like Sen. Alex Padilla (D – CA) held only that the resolution didn’t have Biden’s support, and that this was why they would vote “no” despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people have died so far from a mixture of Saudi airstrikes, famine, and outbreaks of disease, most of them children under the age of 5.
“The President has followed through on his promise to end support for Saudi-led offensive operations. In recent months, the Administration has engaged in robust diplomatic efforts which have proven effective in suspending the violence in Yemen, leading to the longest period of de-escalation,” a spokesperson for Padilla told SF Gate.
There are plenty of statements and evidence to the contrary. Indeed in March 2021 Biden said he would end offensive support, but reporters quickly revealed that wasn’t happening.
In February of 2021, the UN warned that as many as 400,000 children could die from famine that year. How many actually did is difficult even for the UN, as active as they are in the country, to estimate. WaL