March 21, 2018

Duckworth Statement on Bipartisan Effort to Ensure Public Debate on Military’s Role in Yemen


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – After voting in support of S.J. Res. 54, which would direct the President to remove unauthorized U.S. troops from hostilities in Yemen, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement:

“The American military is actively assisting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and our servicemembers have been drawn into hostilities in the country, yet Congress has not provided any legal authority for these military actions nor have we held any public debate about what our military’s role in the Yemen civil war should be. For too long, the Executive Branch has been emboldened to commit our troops in engagements around the world without giving the American people a true voice, through their representatives in Congress, about where and when we commit our military. Whether one supports or opposes military action in Yemen, every Member should be able to vote in favor of the principle that Congress must stop ceding its solemn responsibility to declare war. It’s shameful that Congress, on the 15th anniversary of the Iraq War, refused to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities by having an honest and open conversation about what the parameters of our military’s involvement in places like Yemen should be.”

Since she was elected to the Senate, Duckworth has urged her colleagues to replace our outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs), which set the legal framework, parameters and constitutional basis for our ongoing military engagements. Last September, Duckworth joined a bipartisan group of Senators to urge the Senate to debate a new AUMF and she penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal chastising her colleagues for neglecting their constitutional responsibility to debate a new AUMF, arguing that failing to act enables a seemingly endless conflict overseas without an honest, sober accounting of the true costs of war.