Bipartisan group seeks to defund U.S. involvement in Yemen war

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wants to try again to defund the U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wants to try again to defund the U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers wants to defund the U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen, which could bring the four-year struggle to an end.

A group of 44 lawmakers urged Congress to vote to remove funding from a Pentagon spending bill. The House and Senate have voted multiple times to end U.S. support for the war without success. The lawmakers argue that U.S. involvement was never authorized by Congress and "continues to undermine rather than advance U.S. national security interests."


This comes just days after Yemen's internationally recognized government blamed United Arab Emirates lawmakers for deadly airstrikes that killed dozens of people Thursday.

"We ask Saudi Arabia and its wise leadership of the coalition to support the legitimate government and stop this unlawful and unjustified military escalation," a statement from the Yemen government said.

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The United States provides logistical support, mid-air refueling, intelligence sharing and spare parts to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who conduct air raids on Houthi rebels in the country.

"The U.S.-Saudi military campaign in Yemen has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, leaving 24 million Yemenis -- 80 percent of the population -- in need of humanitarian assistance," the lawmakers said in a statement.


The effort is led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

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Without U.S. support, the war in Yemen "will be grounded," Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel said.

Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, said this effort will "block every nickel of taxpayer money from going to assist the Saudi dictatorship as it bombs and starves civilians in Yemen."

"By standing firm and shutting off funding, we can put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe," Sanders said.

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