November 28, 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 directs 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 Saudis in Yemen are responsible for perpetuating one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world. Untold numbers have been killed, starved to death and have died of cholera. American military assistance for this coalition must end.

“Our participation calls into questions significant constitutional concerns as well. 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. In light of Saudi Arabia’s clear responsibility for the murder of a Washington Post journalist, the Senate is right to begin fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to finally have an honest and open debate over the parameters of our military’s involvement in Yemen.”

Since she was elected to the Senate, Duckworth has urged her colleagues to replace our outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs), which set the legal framework, parameters and constitutional basis for our ongoing military engagements.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.