05.02.19

Peters Votes to Override President Trump’s Veto on Bipartisan Legislation to End U.S. Military Support to Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen

Peters: “If you go to Michigan you can meet with some of the many Yemeni Americans who just want the same thing that everybody else does - help for those who are suffering and meaningful steps towards peace… And let me be clear - bombs will not resolve this conflict.”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today voted to override President Trump’s veto on bipartisan legislation to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia-led operations in Yemen. According to the United Nations, the Saudi-led coalition has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen that has removed countless families from their homes, driven millions into starvation and on average leads to the death of one Yemeni child under ten every five minutes. Earlier today, Peters spoke on the Senate floor urging more of his colleagues to join the bipartisan group of Senators who support overriding the President’s veto.

“We made it unmistakably clear that our involvement in Yemen is not authorized by Congress, but the President has chosen to sidestep a bipartisan majority by not signing the bill into law,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “In doing so, he is sustaining the crisis… The American people are not asking the President for this. Taxpayers certainly don’t want to pay for it. I serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and I can assure you that supporting Saudi Arabia’s operations in Yemen is nowhere to be found in our national defense strategy.”

 

Click here for video of his remarks and below is the text as prepared for delivery: 

 

  

“Madam President, in the United States – American foreign policy is not determined by one person.

“The Constitution makes that clear – Article One grants Congress the power to declare war – not the president. Consistent with that responsibility – Democrats and Republicans in this body worked together to pass a bipartisan resolution directing the President to end U.S. support for Saudi-led hostilities in Yemen.

“I am proud of that bill – which passed both chambers of Congress in recent months. We made it unmistakably clear that our involvement in Yemen is not authorized by Congress. But the President has chosen to sidestep a bipartisan majority by not signing this bill into law. In doing so, he is sustaining the crisis through the continued refueling of Saudi aircraft and other activities.

“The American people are not asking the President for this. Taxpayers certainly do not want to pay for it. I serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and I can assure you that supporting Saudi Arabia’s operations in Yemen is nowhere, nowhere to be found in our national defense strategy. 

 “Madam President – I urge my colleagues to reject continued support for Saudi Arabia’s military actions in Yemen. Congress must do its job and vote to override the President’s veto. We have an opportunity this week to help make the suffering in Yemen come to an end.

“Let’s not forget – 22 million people in Yemen still need humanitarian assistance or protection. More than 8 million people still go hungry every single day. 16 million Yemenis still don’t have clean water, resulting in pervasive disease outbreaks. And children - are still dying every single day. Every ten minutes a child under five dies in Yemen from a preventable cause, according to the United Nations. 

“For many people there, survival is a daily challenge and a struggle. Their future hangs by a thread. In addition to disease, starvation, and displacement – the people of Yemen are subjected to indiscriminate bombings led by Saudi Arabia. 

“And let me be clear – bombs will not resolve this conflict. All parties must come together and work towards a peaceful solution that places the dignity of all Yemeni people at the center of those negotiations. 

“And we can help facilitate that. That is what the American people want. And if you go to Michigan you can meet some of the many Yemeni Americans who just want the same thing everyone else does – help for those who are suffering and meaningful steps towards peace.

“American diplomacy can help resolve this tragedy and we must make every effort to do so.”