tv U.S. Senate Senators Lee Sanders on War in Yemen CSPAN November 28, 2018 9:25pm-9:48pm EST
know they have other business to move to but i will simply say i'm grateful for the work. thank you madam president. >> members considered a resolution calling for the end to the u.s. military support for saudi arabia's war in yemen and the virus moved the resolution closer to passage by the full senate and a final vote as possible next week. we also hear from the democratic and republican leaders on the foreign relations committee. this is half an hour. i stood before this body in march of this year to protest the unconstitutional intervention in saudi arabia's bloody war in yemen. i was proud to stand with my
colleagues, senator sanders andr senator murphy to file the motion of the resolution as 54 that would reform them from yemen and at that time the members requested additional time to study the issue and to debate the resolution in the foreign relations committee. the chairman of that committee my friend and colleague requested this with a commitment to, quote, bring forthis legislation to appropriately deal with many of the issues related to yemen, saudi arabia and ourselves. with that the senate voted to table the motion and the committee held a hearing on this issue and introduced a separate bipartisan bill to address it but no further action has been taken and so today eight months
later it continues still embedded by the united states and even amidst further revelations. it's long past overdue and removed forces from yemen as recent circumstances only confirmed. today we have a chance to remedy the course of action and do what the constitution and justice demand. the situation is dire. the war has killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians, human beings less we forget every one of them possessing immeasurable dignity and worth. it's created refugees and its displaced countless families. the numbers and that in the humanities are staggering since 2015 more than 10,000 civilians
have died and wounded another 56 children but with few americans knew until recently as it's been making the crisis worse by helping one side bomb these innocent civilians. they launched after they ousted the government in the capital city. the obama administration without consulting congress quickly authorized u.s. military forces to provide logistical and intelligence support to the saudipo led coalition. u.s. military support has
continued since then including surveillance, reconnaissance information and target selection assistance in other words we've been supporting and actively participating in the activities in yemen that article one section eight states congress shall have the power to declare war. not the president for the pentagon, not someoneom else in the executive branch, not any other part of government him up congress. it couldn't have been any clearerar about this and they dd so with very good reason. they set up the system of government and ways to protect the people from the dangers associated with the excessive accumulation of power and at the hands of the few. we know from experience and we
knew them from our young nation's experience under the british rule bad things happen especially at the level when too few people exercise too much power and it goes unchecked and nowhere is this more evident than in the case of the power to declare war so they placed it in the legislative branch where we are honest and open and the branch that is held most accountable as alexander hamilton pointed out in the federalist papers 69 it couldn't be exercised by the executive branch said it would be less likely e to.
it's somehow constitutionally justified under the act of 1973. it makes it possible for the executive branch of government acting alone or the armed forces in cases of emergencies and subject to certain limited to find time constraints but the conflict by no means and in no way, shape or form constitutes a threat to the safety of american citizens and our involvement has surpassed the emergency time constraint. no friends of ours are the regional rebel group that doesn't threaten american national security. in fact the longer we fight against them, the more reason we
gave them to hate america and embrace the opportunist enemy in the region. the longer we harm our own interest in terms of trade and broad regional security, the war powers act also states the assignment of u.s. armed forces to coordinate or participate in hostilities of a foreign country constitutes a conflict of war and some have argued we have not been engaging in hostilities and therefore haven't violated the act, but this plan falls flat on its face. we have aided coalition with many target selection assistance or as the defense secretary said in december of 2017 hour
military is helping them, quote, make certain they hit the wrong thing.ow in other words we are hopin hela foreign power with its adversaries and if that doesn't constitute hostilities, i don't know what does. specifically al qaeda and isis however the resolution explicitly states it would not impede the military's ability to fight these groups. that reports on terrorism for 2016 found the conflict between the forces and the insurgents and the branch to deepen their inroads across the country.
our involvement in yemen accomplishes no good at all. only harm. in serious consequential format that. 17 million don't have access to food. more are being logged every single day. my position on this hasn't changed for thet past eight months but with the taking of another life circumstances have only further deteriorated. intelligence suggests they were not of the murder.
it's only been made plain and it's not an ally that deserves our support or military intervention. especially when our own security is not itself on the line. on the contrary to continue supporting them would be bad diplomacy and undermine our very credibility. u.s. intervention is unauthorized, unconstitutional and immoral and we can't delay voting for our involvement in saudi arabisaudi arabia any lon. if we do, we have ourselves to blame for the country has lost credibility in the world stage and more importantly our own conscience though there the plane for the thousands that continue to be lost. the founding fathers had wisdom declaring these issues of
american blood and treasure to be debated and discussed between two equal branches of government. matters of war and alliances must constantly be reconsidered and evaluated and in an open, honest and public manner. that is one of our most solemn duties in this matter and it is the opportunity to fly squarely before us today. we owe it to the sons and daughters of the american people who put their sons and daughters in harm's way and we owe it to their parents and family and to , ourselves have taken the oatho uphold, protect and defend the constitution of the united aids. i urge to the motion to discharge the resolution. thank you, mr. president.
i yield the floor. >> senator from vermont. >> consents to speak up for up to ten minutes. >> let me thank senator leahy for his leadership on this resolution at a time when many are coming together around an issue of enormous concern and also one of the leaders in the other 17 cosponsors of this resolution. mr. president, in a half-hour or so are we going to be casting one of the most important foreign-policy votes that we have cast in recent years? is a vote to demand that the humanitarian crisis in yemen be
addressed. it's a vote that will tell the dictatorship in saudi arabia that we will no longer be part of the destructive military adventurism and a vote senator of the just mentioned that says the senate respects the constitution of the united states and understands the issue of homemaking putting our young men and women's lives at stake is something determined by the u.s. congress, not the president of the united states. it is a congressional decision, not a presidential decision. whether that president is a democrat or republican. in march of 2015 under the leadership of th that of the thi
defense minister and now the rcrown prince of saudi arabia ae the arab emirates intervened in yemen ongoing civil war. as a result of saudi led intervention, yemen is now experiencing the worst humanitarian disaster in the entire world. and one of the poorest countries on earth as a result of this war according to the save the children organization, some 85,000 children have already starved to death. 85,000 already dead. and millions
more, face starvation if this continues according to the united nations. it's within 14 million people facing starvation. further, yemen is experiencing the worst outbreak of cholera in the world with as many as 10,000 new cases developing every week according to the world health organization. cholera is a disease spread by water that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration and will only celebrate. the outbreak as it happens has occurred because the bombs have
destroyed the water infrastructure and people are no longer able to access. the united states with limited media attention has been saudi arabia's partner in this war. avwe have been reviewing the planes before they drop those bombs and we have been assisting with intelligence. in too many cases, the weapons were used to kill civilians as it is well-known in august there was an american-made bomb that obliterated a school bus full of young boys killing dozens and woundingnd many more. a cnn report found evidence that american weapons have been used in a string of such deadly
attacks since the began. according to the group, between march, 2015 and march, 2018, more than 30% of the saudi led coalition targets have been nonmilitary. a few weeks ago i met with some brave human rights activists from yemen. they told me when they see made usa on the bombs that are killing them, it tells them the wusa is responsible for this w, and that is the sad truth. this isn't the message the united states of america should be sending to the world.
the bottom line is the united states shouldn't be supporting a catastrophic war led by a regime with a dangerous entity responsible military policy. above and beyond the humanitariansa crisis, this has been a disaster for the national security. they defended by overstating the iranian support for the rebels and while the support is of serious concern to all of us, the fact is it's only been strengthened with the intensification of the war. it's creating the very problem the administration claims to want to solve. it's also undermining the effort
against violence extremists. in 2016 the state department report found that the conflict had helped al qaeda and the islamic state of the branch to deepen their inroads across much of the country. this war is both a humanitarian disaster and a strategic disaster in the fight against international terrorism. further, never let us forget that saudi arabia is an undemocratic monarchyd controlld by one family, the saudi family. and in the 2017 report, quite the a conservative cato institu, saudi arabia was ranked 149 out of 159 countries in terms of freedom and human rights. for decades they funded schools,
mosques and regions to promote an extreme form of islam. in saudi arabia today, women are treated as third class citizens and still need the permission of a male guardian to go to school or to get a job, have to follow a strict dress code and can be stoned to death for adultery or for spending time with a man that does not a relative. the saudi activists are a leader in the fight for women's rights and are forced to return to saudi arabia. she's currently being held without charges. the same is true of many other saudi political activists. sadly, president of trump continues to proclaim his love
and affection for the saudi regime for the brutality and the lawlessness that the regime was made clear to the whole world. as a part of the continuing respect and the regime's around the world the president rejected the findings of the assessment that the prince was responsible for that. finally, an issue that is the concern of many of us, senator leahy touched on that very thoughtfully. it is the united states congress, not the president of the united states who under our constitution has more lawmaking responsibilities.
today i say to my conservative friends respect the constitution,ti the claim congrs is rightful role on the issues of war and peace and has not authorized the war for yemen and therefore it is unconstitutiona, and that must change and must change now. mr. president, we are going in a few minutes to undertake a very, very important vote, and i hope that all of my colleagues, democrats, republicans, independents will vote to discharge on this resolution. thank you and i yield the floor. >> mr. president i rise today to speak to the senate resolution