Friday, November 16, 2018

Running with Wolves: Republican's Bizarre Bill Shifts Yemen War Focus

As Campaign to End US-Saudi War on Yemen Grows, Republicans Derail it with Bizarre Wolves Bill


November 16, 2018

The campaign is growing to end U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen, which has unleashed the largest humanitarian catastrophe on the planet and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

But Republican members of Congress have resorted to bizarre tactics to try to maintain U.S. support for this devastating war and derail any attempts to stop it.

A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes on average due to the crisis caused by the war, and specifically due to Saudi Arabia using famine as a weapon–intentionally destroying food production and preventing imports into the poorest country in the Middle East.

A House bill that would end the catastrophic US-Saudi war on Yemen is gaining support, but Republicans bizarrely blocked a vote using unrelated legislation on gray wolves and the endangered species list

The U.S. government has played the key role in helping Saudi Arabia carry out this war, providing substantial military, economic, and political assistance. In response, some lawmakers in Congress have been taking action to try to force the U.S. military to withdraw its support, which would effectively end the war. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat from California, has been building support for a bill that cites the 1973 law the War Powers Resolution, which puts a check on the power of the president and gives Congress the authority to vote for or against a U.S. war. This bill has some bipartisan support, although it is mostly backed by progressive Democrats, and Republicans have been taking steps to try to undermine this legislation.

On Wednesday, November 14, House Republicans employed one of the strangest tactics imaginable. They used a totally unrelated bill involving wolves and the endangered species list in order to block a vote on the Yemen bill. Republicans have been trying to pass the Manage Our Wolves Act; legislation that would remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened or endangered species and end the U.S. government federal protection for gray wolves, allowing Americans to hunt and kill the animal.

So Republicans in the House introduced a one line rule change into the Manage Our Wolves Act that is about a totally unrelated bill, the Yemen War Bill. This line removed the privilege that the Yemen War Bill had, which means House Republicans could prevent a vote on the Yemen Bill. And that is exactly what they did.

Before the vote, Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, condemned this strange Republican strategy to block the vote, and called on Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibility over war.

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