March 12, 2018

Young and Shaheen Introduce Legislation to Address Humanitarian Crisis and Civil War in Yemen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have introduced bipartisan legislation, S.J.Res.55, to pressure the Saudi government to end the civil war in Yemen and to take additional steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there.

Senators Young and Shaheen said, “Ending the civil war in Yemen and reducing suffering there represent key U.S. humanitarian and strategic goals, and that is what this legislation seeks to accomplish. The longer the civil war continues in Yemen, the worse the humanitarian crisis will grow, and the more Yemen will serve as a staging ground for terrorist activities that threaten the U.S. and our partners.” 

This legislation would create additional leverage—that does not exist today—to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the civil war in Yemen and fully address the heartbreaking humanitarian crisis there. If the Secretary of State cannot certify that Riyadh is doing so, this legislation would impose tangible consequences. While Saudi Arabia must clearly do more to bring the civil war to a close and reduce humanitarian suffering, Iran is engaged in reckless and unacceptable behavior in Yemen and Yemen is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other terrorist groups that seek to kill Americans.

Senate Joint Resolution 55 would require the Secretary of State to certify to Congress that Riyadh is undertaking “an urgent and good faith effort to conduct diplomatic negotiations to end the civil war [and] appropriate measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by increasing access for all Yemenis to food, fuel, and medicine.” If the Secretary of State is unable to make these certifications, the legislation would prohibit the United States from providing air refueling to Saudi-led coalition aircraft conducting missions exclusively focused on the civil war in Yemen. 

Click here for a one-pager on S.J.Res.55.