Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on his “no” vote on the motion to table S.J. Res. 54, the Yemen War Powers Resolution:
“The framers wanted a robust debate between the Executive and Legislative Branches about the grave questions of war and peace, with the final authority to declare war resting with the Congress. For too long, Congress has failed to debate and vote on authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF). If the Administration wants the authority to continue refueling and other support operations with the Saudis, it should work with Congress to craft a tailored authorization, and then we should debate and vote on it. Until then, a plain reading of the War Powers Resolution shows that the U.S. is engaged in activities that constitute “hostilities.” Today, I voted to advance debate on S. J. Res. 54, a debate that, like the broader AUMF questions, is sorely needed and overdue.
The Saudis have a legitimate right to self-defense against terrorists and Houthi forces, and there are ways the U.S. can support them in that effort within the parameters of existing authorizations. We must work with all partners in the region to push back on Iranian aggression, including support for destabilizing proxy forces and terrorist groups. The humanitarian crisis, that has left millions of Yemenis displaced, starving and sick or at risk of disease, demands action.
I urge the Administration to heed the message sent by 44 Senators today: the U.S. must do more to push for a negotiated political solution to the conflict in Yemen. There is no purely military solution to this crisis, as is the case in so many conflicts. The Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Washington this week could be an opportunity for the Administration to make progress on humanitarian access, negotiations and other steps. I hope they seize this opportunity to end a conflict that has gone on for too long.”