Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement after voting in opposition to S.J.Res.7, a joint resolution that directs removal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen:
“There is no arguing that, after four years of conflict, Yemen—a country with a long history of socio-economic challenges—is now in the grip of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. An estimated 24 million people—80% of the Yemeni population—are in need of assistance, and 15.9 million people—more than half of the country’s population—remain severely food insecure. A solution to this conflict must be found, but we all recognize that lasting peace can only be achieved through a political settlement brokered by the United Nations.
“This resolution is particularly ineffective because there is no injection of U.S. troops into active hostilities in the Yemen Civil War. The U.S. is providing limited non-combat support that is advisory in nature and helps defend the territorial integrity of the region, which faces a very real threat from the Iranian-backed Houthis. Iran’s support for the Houthis—notably the transfer of missiles and other weaponry—threatens to undermine our partners’ territorial integrity, imperils key shipping routes, and puts U.S. interests at risk—including the thousands of U.S. personnel and citizens currently within range of the Iranian made missile systems under Houthi control.
“Peace envoys are telling us they want deeper U.S. engagement in this situation. This resolution sends a terrible message of U.S. division and lack of resolve, and sets a bad precedent for using the War Powers Resolution to express political disagreements with a president. We should instead signal our resolve that the U.S. is committed to playing an important role in pushing for a sustainable political settlement in Yemen. I recommend a presidential veto.”
The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 54 to 46.