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Shaheen Resolution to Alleviate Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee

(Washington, DC)—By a bipartisan vote of 14-7, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) resolution to help alleviate the “world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster” passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The legislation, introduced with Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE), would prohibit the U.S. military from continuing to provide aerial refueling support for the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen unless the Secretary of State repeatedly certifies that the Government of Saudi Arabia is taking urgent steps to end the civil war in Yemen, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and reduce the risk to civilians posed by military operations conducted by the Government of Saudi Arabia. 

“The Senate has yet to take decisive action to influence the Saudi-led military operations and protect innocent civilians in Yemen,” said Senator Shaheen. “My resolution sends a strong message to Saudi leadership that we have high expectations for our allies, particularly those who are benefiting from U.S. military support, and I’m very pleased by the vote of approval in Committee today. There remains a bipartisan sense of urgency to pass legislation to help end the civil war in Yemen, and I’m optimistic we can continue to work across party lines to express our shared concerns about the trajectory of the conflict there. I strongly encourage Republican leadership to allow this proposal to be voted on by the full Senate.”

Specifically, Senator Shaheen’s resolution requires the Secretary of State to certify within 30 days of enactment, and again 180 and 360 days after enactment, that the Government of Saudi Arabia is undertaking the following as a condition of receiving continued U.S. aerial refueling assistance:

  • An urgent and good-faith effort to conduct diplomatic negotiations to end the civil war in Yemen;
  • Appropriate measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by increasing access for Yemenis to food, fuel, and medicine;
  • Reducing the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from its military operations in Yemen.