The Peace and Justice Action Committee (PJAC) has been cooperating for three years with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) to advocate for policy changes of common interest between our organizations. We are currently advocating for an end to US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war and blockade in Yemen. According to the United Nations, the war in Yemen had already led to over 377,000 deaths by the end of 2021. There are approximately 16.2 million people at risk of famine in Yemen today, including about 2.3 million children who are acutely malnourished. Although US support for the war coalition has formally ended, the US continues to provide logistical support such as spare parts and maintenance for Saudi aircraft.
PJAC has been meeting with staff members from our Senators’ and Congressional Representative’s offices to discuss the War in Yemen throughout 2022. Most recently, we met with the new Regional Outreach Director for Senator Cantwell. We are excited to have a new staff member as a point of contact in Spokane. The committee members conveyed our desire for the US to curtail all involvement in the war and blockade in Yemen and informed them that a bipartisan bill had been introduced in the House (H.J. Res. 87) “Directing the removal of United States Air Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” Each of the PJAC members present explained why ending US involvement in the war was important to them and asked if Senator Cantwell would support a companion bill in the Senate.
Senator Cantwell’s staff indicated that she would most likely support such a bill, but does not sit on an appropriate committee to introduce one. The PJAC members promised to let Senator Cantwell’s staff know if we find out through our FCNL network that other Senators are planning to introduce a companion Yemen War Powers Resolution, such as the one that passed both houses in 2019 (that bill was then vetoed by President Trump). Meeting with our representatives in Congress once every few months allows us to advocate for peace and justice by keeping them abreast of issues that are important to us and to other PJALS members.
If you would like to join PJAC, please contact Jac Archer at [email protected].