Shaheen Applauds Senate Passage of Legislation to Withdraw U.S. Support for Saudi-led Forces in Yemen

March 13, 2019

Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement after the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution that directs the Trump administration to withdraw support for Saudi-led forces involved in the ongoing Yemen civil war: 

“The Saudi coalition has had every opportunity to begin taking precautions to protect civilians in Yemen, yet significant progress has yet to be made,” said Shaheen. “The facts on the ground in Yemen depict a heart-wrenching crisis where an entire population is on the verge of famine. While I place blame on all parties responsible for this conflict, the United States has leverage on the Saudi coalition, and I believe we must use that leverage to ease the suffering of innocent people. Further, I am concerned that the Trump administration has repeatedly ignored attempts by Congress to rein in Saudi Arabia, which has demonstrated a dangerous lack of moral leadership even in its own country and beyond—particularly with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. For this reason, the Senate was compelled to pass this resolution. I’m pleased that my colleagues and I were able to deliver a strong, bipartisan vote and send the message that this chamber stands on the side of human rights and democratic values.” 

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to hold the Saudi coalition accountable. Senators Shaheen and Young worked successfully to include Section 1290 in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L. 115-232), which requires the Secretary of State to submit written, detailed, and unclassified certifications related to the efforts of the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen. Following the first certification to Congress in September, Shaheen and Young wrote to Secretary Pompeo, voicing concerns that the certification did not reflect the facts on the ground.  Unfortunately, the administration refused to provide the second required assessment. Today’s resolution previously passed the Senate in the last Congress.