Progressive groups warn Dems not to vote on GOP motion that could 'destroy' Yemen bill

Progressive organizations are urging House Democrats not to vote for any Republican motions to recommit when the chamber takes up a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war.

“A vote in favor of the [motion to recommit] is a vote to destroy the viability of the bill, prevent it from reaching the president’s desk and prolong the conflict,” the progressive groups wrote in a letter to House Democrats on Wednesday.

The letter, obtained by The Hill ahead of its release, was organized by Win Without War, Indivisible, Just Foreign Policy, Demand Progress and MoveOn and was co-signed by 43 other progressive groups.

Motions to recommit are procedural moves in the House that are typically offered by the minority party to make a statement but then voted down by the majority.

But Republicans have successfully passed two motions to recommit this year, capitalizing on tensions between centrist and liberal Democrats.

One of the motions to recommit that was passed was on the House’s version of the Yemen war powers resolution. The underlying resolution, first passed by the House in February, would require the president to withdraw any troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda or associated force.

The Republican motion to recommit amended the resolution to denounce anti-Semitism, offered in the wake controversial comments about Israel involving Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe four House Democrats who voted against the border funding bill Ocasio-Cortez: It was easier to get elected to Congress than pay off student loan debt Progressive group endorses three House freshmen MORE (D-Minn.).

The addition of the anti-Semitism language delayed the resolution when it came to the Senate. The Senate parliamentarian ruled the Yemen resolution was no longer privileged, the mechanism that allowed supporters to force a vote on it and pass it with a simple majority.

That meant supporters in the Senate had to reintroduce the resolution, and the House now has to revote on it. The House revote is expected as soon as next week.

Asked by The Hill earlier this month whether he’s worried another motion to recommit will derail the bill again, chief House sponsor Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need exit strategy with Iran | McConnell open to vote on Iran war authorization | Senate panel advances bill to restrict emergency arms sales Bipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress's approval Sanders unveils student debt plan amid rivalry with Warren MORE (D-Calif.) said he thinks Democrats know they will get hammered if that happens.

“I think any Democrat who looks at it and says they’re going to vote for a motion to recommit will get excoriated by the media and liberal groups and I think they will conclude it’s not in their self-interest to do so,” he said.

In its letter Wednesday, progressive groups warned the addition of any motion to recommit means the resolution would have to go back to the Senate without privileged status, adding that means “the bill would die.”

“For over a year, Republican members of Congress have attempted to block or defeat the War Powers Resolution through any possible means, and they clearly are continuing their attempts,” the letter said. “Doing so to prolong one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world is unconscionable. Democrats must not abet such a cynical effort.”