Shaheen Successfully Amends and Helps Pass Bipartisan Resolution Ending U.S. Support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen Civil War

December 13, 2018

Yemen PC

Shaheen speaks at a bipartisan press conference Wednesday on the need for Congress to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for human rights abuses.

**Shaheen successfully amended the resolution that passed the Senate today to prohibit resumption of refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft in Yemen civil war**

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution that ends U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalitions involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Senator Shaheen successfully amended this resolution with legislation introduced with Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Chris Coons (D-DE) that prohibits the resumption of U.S. air refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft engaged in the civil war in Yemen.

“This resolution sends a clear message to Saudi leadership and the world, that the United States Senate, on a strong bipartisan basis, stands firmly on the side of human rights and democratic values,” said Shaheen. “The civil war in Yemen is the worst humanitarian disaster in the world and every effort must be made to use our nation’s substantial leverage to bring a cessation to the violence. My bipartisan amendment refutes the administration’s cynical certification to Congress which stated that Saudi violence is in compliance with U.S. and humanitarian interests in the region, and clearly prohibits a resumption of refueling support for the Saudi coalition. Going forward, there is much work yet to be done to deliver legislation to the president’s desk to hold Saudi leadership accountable, including measures that respond to the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.”

On April 11, these same Senators introduced Senate Joint Resolution 58 (S.J.Res.58) and then worked to include a version of that legislation in the annual defense bill signed into law by President Trump. Section 1290 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L. 115-232) 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 (UAE) to end the civil war, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and protect civilians. If the Secretary of State cannot make these certifications, the law prohibits the U.S. from refueling Saudi coalition aircraft conducting missions exclusively focused on the civil war. 

Senators Shaheen and Young wrote an op-ed calling for a credible submission from the Secretary of State. When the Secretary of State submitted a questionable certification to Congress pursuant to Section 1290, the same Senators and others wrote Secretary Pompeo and asked for a clarification.  

On November 9, following months of pressure, the administration announced the suspension of U.S. refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft in Yemen. However, nothing prevents the resumption of that refueling support. The Shaheen-Young-Collins-Coons amendment would prohibit the resumption of U.S. refueling support for missions not related to al Qaeda and associated forces.  

The Shaheen-Young-Collins-Coons amendment can be found here.