A Brutal War Crime Ignored
Petition: Support the National Security Powers Act of 2021 to
restore Congressional authority over matters of war and peace!
(August 9, 2021) — Monday, August 9 officially marks three years since the Saudi-led coalition bombed a school bus full of Yemeni children, killing at least 40 children and injuring dozens more.
This war crime was carried out using American-made weapons, yet there’s little to no Congressional oversight over weapons sales to human rights abusers including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and the UAE.
Over time, Congress has acquiesced to the growing, often unchecked power of the President to unilaterally determine America’s foreign policy. More than ever before, presidents are sending people into battle and using deadly drone strikes without public debate, and making major policy decisions, like massive arms sales, without congressional input.
We know that the majority of the American public wants to strictly limit weapons sales to human rights abusers and end endless wars — but because these decisions are made in secret, there’s less we can do to keep our representatives accountable!
Authorizing the use of military force and weapons sales should not remain in the hands of the executive branch where the true cost of war has become invisible to the American public. The National Security Powers Act of 2021 is the first step towards re-imagining our national security priorities by forcing Congressional authority over important matters of war and peace.
Ask your representative to support Senator Sanders, Murphy, and Lee’s new bill: the National Security Powers Act of 2021!
The National Security Powers Act, introduced by Senators Sanders, Lee, and Murphy, restores Congressional authority for the Use of Military Force, Emergency Powers, and Arms Exports by Cutting Off Funding for Activities Lacking Authorization.
This legislation is an important step toward reasserting Congress’s constitutional power over the use of military force in our foreign policy.
The National Security Powers Act is divided into three parts — war powers reform, arms export reform, and national emergencies reform — all unified by a set of standard rules and procedures that reassert and safeguard congressional prerogatives. In each case, the president is required to consult congressional leaders and obtain congressional authorization before exercising the powers in question. Any congressional authorization will have to meet specific requirements, including an automatic sunset. Any activities lacking such authorization will face an automatic funding cutoff after a specified number of days.
War Powers Reform — Shortens the termination clock for hostilities and automatically cuts off funding for military action not authorized by Congress. If passed, it would significantly change what power the President has over war-making.
Arms Export Reform — If passed, would require Congress to approve certain arms sales. Right now, Congress has to pass a veto-proof Resolution of Disapproval to stop a sale. This would give the people more of a say in where US weapons are sold.
Emergencies Reform — Prevents the President from exploiting a crisis to increase executive authority b requiring Congress to have a role in emergency declarations.
ACTION: On this anniversary of a war crime carried out using American-made weapons, we need to take this first step towards accountability. Ask your representative to restore Congressional authority over matters of war and peace!
Background: You can read the full text of the bill here.
Toward peace, Danaka, Carley, and the CODEPINK team