Statement ● National Security & Foreign Policy
For Immediate Release: 
February 13, 2019
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the Floor today in support of Rep. Ro Khanna’s (CA-17) war powers resolution that would require U.S. forces to end involvement in hostilities in Yemen. Below is a link to the video and a transcript of his remarks:
Click here to watch the full remarks.
“Mr. Speaker, I want to thank [House Foreign Affairs Committee] Chairman [Eliot] Engel, [House Armed Services Committee] Chairman [Adam] Smith, Representative [Ro] Khanna, and others for ensuring that the House expresses its views on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. After the Republican Leader [Kevin McCarthy] declined to allow this resolution to come to the Floor in December, I promised to bring it to the Floor. Here we are.

"And now, the House will have an opportunity to express its views to the President and to the country that he ought to end his Administration's support for the Saudi coalition's military campaign in Yemen. It is a campaign that has led to tremendous human suffering with minimal military gains.

"After four years, it is a time for change in policy. Let me be clear, the Houthi rebels in Yemen are bad actors, engaging in brutal actions against civilians, and they are sponsored by Iran. The Houthis commit human rights abuses, prevent humanitarian assistance to starving civilians, and exercise a brute form of governance if they were to be in control. We should have no illusion that there are two parties responsible for this humanitarian catastrophe. We are supporting one of them.

"The result of the coalition campaign thus far has been an unmitigated humanitarian disaster, as well as a military stalemate. Using military force to pressure the Houthi rebels into accepting coalition demands has demonstrably not worked.

“It is time, therefore, for Congress to make clear to the Trump Administration, and to our country, and to the international community that it cannot simply keep our Yemen policy on autopilot while the situation, not only has not improved, but deteriorates.

"With the United States supporting one party in this conflict, the best way we promote a peaceful and positive solution is by focusing our efforts on the variables that we can affect. It is time that we set a new course forward on Yemen, and that the House and Senate need to demand that the Administration uphold basic American values in its exercise of our foreign policy. That means ending our support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
“Although not the focus of this resolution, I am mindful that this debate is taking place a day after the President disregarded the law and failed to report to Congress who was responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The more the President tries to sweep this heinous incident under the rug, the more incumbent upon Congress it is to act.

"This resolution is bipartisan. A similar resolution passed the United States Senate. It was not brought to this Floor. I hope it will receive the strong support of both sides of the aisle. I urge my colleagues to support it, and I yield back the balance of my time.”