Press Releases

In First Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, Spanberger Calls for Review of U.S. Military Engagement in Yemen

Following Her Remarks, the Congresswoman Joined a Majority of the Committee to Forward Legislation Aimed at Reevaluating the Role of U.S. Armed Forces on the Arabian Peninsula

Washington, February 6, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger participated in her first U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, where she called on lawmakers to assess current U.S. military policy in Yemen and stressed the role of Congress in authorizing the use of military force in the region.  

During a hearing focused on U.S. engagement in the Arabian Peninsula, Spanberger highlighted the importance of holding recipients of U.S. security assistance accountable for violations of international law. Additionally, she questioned witnesses about how best to make sure American-supplied weapons are used for solely defensive purposes, rather than to fuel additional violence. Click here for a full video of her remarks.

“The conflict in Yemen has created a humanitarian crisis and further destabilized the surrounding region. Not only does our military remain engaged in hostilities without the explicit authorization of Congress, it is clear we are not holding our partners accountable for the unacceptable targeting of civilians,” said Spanberger. “Stability on the Arabian Peninsula is in our country’s national security interest—but we can pursue a robust national security strategy that keeps our country strong and safe without compromising American values, resources, or lives.”

Following her remarks, Spanberger joined a majority of the committee in approving legislation that would direct the removal of U.S. armed forces from hostilities in Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. This legislation would not impact U.S. service members currently engaged in operations against al-Qaeda or associated terrorist groups.

Since arriving in the House, Spanberger is working to champion diplomacy, human rights, and humanitarian assistance as key components of U.S. foreign policy. Last week, Spanberger was selected to serve as a member of two key subcommittees on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee—the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment Subcommittee and the Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Subcommittee.

Background

Spanberger is committed to reinforcing the importance of U.S. relationships with key allies in Europe, Asia, and around the world. Last month, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Support Act—which Spanberger helped introduce—overwhelmingly passed in the U.S. House. The bipartisan legislation would reinforce the U.S. commitment to its fellow NATO member states.

And earlier this week, Spanberger announced her appointment to serve as Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force. As Co-Chair, Spanberger will focus on demonstrating the importance of American leadership abroad and reaffirming a commitment to the vital role of diplomacy and humanitarian assistance.

A former case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and a former federal agent, Spanberger represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which contains all or portions of Amelia, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Goochland, Henrico, Louisa, Nottoway, Orange, Powhatan, and Spotsylvania counties in Central Virginia.

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