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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Video: Courtney on Yemen Procedural Gimmick: "Congress should not be shirking its duty"

November 15, 2018
Video

Yesterday, during debate on a rule governing debate on a bill removing endangered species protections for the gray wolf, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) took to the floor to oppose a procedural gimmick in the measure that blocks a resolution to end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in the Yemen Civil War. Under the War Powers Act, the Yemen resolution (H.Con.Res.138), could have been called to the floor for a vote under expedited procedures. The rule passed yesterday, however, prevents this from occurring.

Transcript of his remarks:

Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this rule which will pave the way for a vote on a bill that will summarily delist the gray wolf from protections under the Endangered Species Act

by congressional fiat, in direct contradiction to our Nation's animal protection policies that have done so much to preserve the diversity of animal existence over the last 45 years.

In addition, in keeping with the sad track record of this Republican-controlled Congress, this is yet another closed rule, number 102 over the last 2 years, to be exact, that will prohibit consideration of any amendments.

Most egregious of all, however, this rule includes a totally non-germane provision that will deny debate of a separate resolution that will end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in Yemen's civil war.

This separate resolution, the Khanna resolution, which I am an original cosponsor of, will be effectively blocked from congressional consideration and debate by passage of this rule, despite the humanitarian crisis and indiscriminate coalition air strikes, which American forces have enabled with refueling, and with logistical and  technical support over the last 3 years.

This bipartisan resolution deserves debate and as a coequal branch of government, Congress should not be shirking its duty once again by allowing U.S. military force to be used at the whim of the executive branch.

Sadly, this rule is another example of the complete abdication by the 115th Congress of its duty to act as a check on a coequal branch of government. This rule is another surrender by a weak-kneed majority on

its way out the door to the executive branch.

To quote ``The Hollow Men'' by T.S. Eliot, this Republican 115th Congress is ending ``. . . not with a bang but a whimper.''