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Pocan joins bipartisan call for Trump’s administration to consult Congress about Yemen

In a bipartisan letter 55 U.S. Representatives wrote to President Donald Trump urging him to consult Congress before possibly intervening in Yemen.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Fifty-five members of Congress—including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.—wrote a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump requesting him to clear his plans with Congress before deepening military involvement in Yemen.

Yemen has been facing a civil war between Saudi Arabia military forces and Yemen’s Houthi rebels for two years. The Saudi bombings, airstrikes and harsh blockade have lead to a severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The Trump administration is currently deciding whether to escalate military support for the anti-Houthi coalition. This decision would remove former President Barack Obama’s prohibitions and enable the military to provide “surveillance and intelligence, refueling, and operational planning assistance” without Congressional approval.

Pocan warned of the consequences of increased military action.

“Administration officials have proposed the U.S. participate directly in an attack on Yemen's major port,” Pocan said. “Such an attack could push the country into full-blown famine, where nearly half a million children in Yemen are facing starvation.

Pocan emphasized the role Congress plays in foreign affairs while expressing his disapproval for possibly intervening in Yemen.

“Congress is a direct line to the people and this letter is a first step in reasserting our Constitutional check on presidential powers,” Pocan said. “I am committed to pursuing all tools at our disposal to ensure President Trump abides by our Constitution before possibly plunging our country into another senseless conflict.”

The letter also is a reaction to the president’s decision to engage in Syrian missile strikes without gaining the approval of Congress.

U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., both voiced support for the Trump administration's decision to send missiles into a Syrian airfield in order to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical weapons attack on his own civilians.

Both Wisconsin senators want Trump to offer a strategy of how he’s going to deal with Syria to Congress and the American public, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Baldwin also said Trump needs to receive congressional approval before taking action like he did in Syria. 

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