“The letter was necessary in large part because the arms deal was announced during a Congressional recess, leaving lawmakers just one day once they returned to the Capitol to review, debate, and vote on the proposal, rather than the 30 days they are typically allotted for arms deals. Adding to the urgency of the letter was the recent string of devastating attacks carried out this month by the Saudi-led coalition. Since peace talks between the coalition and Yemen’s Houthi rebels broke down in the first week of August, the coalition bombed a school, a marketplace, a food factory, a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders, and a bridge vital to the delivery of humanitarian aid, in total killing at least 68 civilians, and injuring many more.”
Today, a group of 64 House representatives sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama asking that he postpone the sale of $1.15 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia until Congress has had a chance to debate and vote on the arms deal. After 17 months of U.S. support for a Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen that’s killed thousands of civilians and fueled violent extremism in the region’s poorest country, a growing number of lawmakers have apparently had enough.
The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who started raising concerns about civilian casualties in Yemen last fall, and has since become one of the loudest opponents in Congress of U.S. support for the war. Alongside Lieu, this initiative was co-led by Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL), John Conyers (D-MI), and Mick Mulvaney (R-SC).
The letter was necessary in large part because the arms deal was announced during a Congressional…
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