tv U.S. Senate Sens. Menendez Corker on Yemen War Powers CSPAN March 20, 2018 7:27pm-7:47pm EDT
but i can think of no reason at all by any member of congress would vote to table this resolution and prevent that discussion. i would hope that we would have strong support against any motion to table and allow the debate to go forward. without, i yield the floor. >> i want to thank the senators and other cosponsors of the resolution that we are debating for their commitment to elevating this debate in the united states senate. i agree that this is an important debate with significant implications. as the representatives of the american people we must serve as an effective check of the executive branch and protect the security of the united states.
this is about how we best leverage the tools in our national security toolbox to protect u.s. national security. although this focuses on one particular element, limited military support basically refueling intelligence, encourage my colleagues to expand the aperture so we may call on the administration to assert real leadership and nonmilitary resources to move the conflict in the element towards the political tract. i remind my colleagues that this committee has a jurisdiction over the use of force. it's also under my leadership as chair of this committee that it twice voted on authorizations for the use of force, one in 2013 and the response to assad's
use of chemical weapons. and once in 2014 against the rise of the islamic state. these two committee votes to underscore my commitment to open debate and my enduring commitment to a robust role for the legislative branch for the use of force and oversight. i'm pleased that chairman corker has agreed to hold a public hearing with witnesses on the war in yemen. i think a hearing is critically important. and to look at the u.s. military support in our overarching policy for resolving the war. i appreciate that the chairman has made a commitment to a markup of the committee in the future over legislation that
deals with the question of yemen. i welcome his commitment to markup and authorization for the use of military force in the committee. those are significant and will go a long way towards an informed process of how we deal with this challenge. i encourage my colleagues to assess the best way to promote core u.s. policies in the middle east, including countering terrorism and the freedom of navigation. to achieve these goals, our long-standing policy has been to partner with members of the gulf cooperation council to promote the security and stability of the peninsula. we must fully grasp the situation on the ground and the scope of one of our judicial
security partners. saudi arabia has endured attacks inside its territory on a scale that no american would accept. ballistic and scud missile attacks and at major saudi population centers. cross-border attacks and those are significant. having said that, i share the concerns of the majority of my senate colleagues regarding the conduct of the operations. the unacceptable human casualties and the lack of negotiating an end to this. saudi coalition bears significant responsibility. 75% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
more than 8 million are on the brink of famine. it has also led to the worst outbreak of cholera in history with an estimated 1 million people suspected to be infected. the hoodies bear responsibility for the violence. saudi like campaign has a significant role. the hoodie that who continue the conflict by resisting a political solution. so if this out is to have a political solution but we need others to engage in a political solution as well. we need to remember that the insurgency has vastly expanded the opportunities for al qaeda. at the same time, i worry that withdrawal of limited u.s. military support to the saudi coalition will weaken our
leadership and our ability to influence a political settlement and improve humanitarian conditions and could make the situation worse. what a speaker about who would benefit from an absence of american power. iran will continue to expand its proxy power and through its revolutionary guard they will ship weapons in violation of the arms embargo. the opposition will continue their campaign with yemen and their attacks on saudi arabia. other nations will be left questioning the commitments of its long-term security partner, the united states. saudi arabia is darkest hours lebanese and has blonde the border training fighters all around continues to transfer lethal equipment. we risk sending the message that
united states is not reliable. president trump has damaged our credibility as a reliable partner even for some of our most stalwart allies. we must push against those concerns and show our alleys that the united states upholds our international commitments. we must look at ways in which the united states is working to in this work. the totality of u.s. policy which i fears lacking. the solution is to bolster her political presence to help solve the crisis and help end of the human suffering. to have conservative and practical leadership. so far they have advocated leadership on the global stage. we've heard senior officials assure us there is no military solution to this conflict in a political settlement is necessary.
this administration is dismantling the state department and -- the two entities that can play the most critical roles in addressing the humanitarian crisis. we have vacancies at the assistant secretary of state level at the middle east. with this dangerous approach we will not be in a position to promote political solutions in our military will be called on to do critical work of diplomacy and development distracting them from other pressing challenges. regarding a broader diplomatic strategy they have failed to develop a comprehensive strategy to confront iran including holding iran accountable for providing missile supplies and training to the with these. across land and sea we know -- but we have seen no sanctions or action for this illicit illegal
activity. the administration has not made one designation for arms embargoes as directed again, a failure of leadership. i expect the administration to articulate and implement a comprehensive strategy for addressing yemen. that includes conditions for continuing to support this saudi coalition. comprehensive strategy to push back on iran's destabilizing actions. this includes tough diplomacy for countries who would facilitate or fail to push back on iran's action. i'll continue to push the administration based upon the
commitments to those hearings and future markups based upon the totality of the situation i will vote to table to discharge from the committee. i'm not ready to -- but my support is not unconditional. i will demand responsive actions. i want to see as i told the crown prince of saudi arabia via a renewed commitment towards a political track of the saudi. a consistent demonstration i want to see a follow-through pledge of assistance to stabilize and rebuild human by the members of the saudi coalition. i want to see diplomacy from the trump administration. this week's visit is an opportunity to press forward on a path for ending the war that
certainly was my message. the limited support the united states provides as leverage the trump administration needs to use it. i invite my colleagues to join me in holding demonstration to account pushing them to drive this conflict towards a political track. invite my colleagues to join to have oversight to counter the activities. and finally, i want to be very clear that my vote is not a blank check for u.s. military support nor an endorsement of the current policy and strategy and not a thumbs-up that we should continue businesses usual. i will review future decisions with respect to future arms
there's no more time to waste. we must move towards a political settlement in the war the people must see improvements immediately. i look forward to working with my colleagues i look for to this continuing debate before the senate foreign relations committee. ideal before. >> the senator from tennessee. >> i think the senator from new jersey for his comments today we met with the crown prince of saudi arabia, very impressive young man we talked about the importance of our relationship but we strongly push back on
what is happening now in yemen and asked them to take strong crypt corrective actions. we also talked about the enrichment they are pursuing and the concerns that existed. i want to thank the ranking member for his leadership in the words he just gave. we speak to the debate were having on the floor. this is a very entrepreneurial move. i know one of the members is on the judiciary committee and i can imagine some highly important judicial issue not being debated in the committee. i know that's not the way the judiciary committee operates. another is on the tray committee. instead of it being worked through the committee for some
ethanol bill somebody just figures directly to the floor. so that's what's happening today. i do not shy away from the debate tonight appreciate the fact that mitch mcconnell understood the very few members of our body even know much about what is happening in yemen. and a lot is happening there. i appreciate the briefing that took place last week to give members a sense of what's occurring. but the proper way to deal with
these issues is in committee. you would think that there some legislation that the committee is holding and not acting on, that's not the case. any of these members could have offered yemen legislation relative to this issue and committee would take it up. that has not occurred. the mattel you what is happening. we have a bill being worked on by senator young as shaheen dealing with this issue. building support, working with the administration to make sure definitions are correct that had a number of people involved. we plan to have a yemen hearing to deal with this and to take up appropriate legislation. this way we typically deal with issues of importance. this is an issue of great importance. and not only affects the humanitarian crisis occurring, the radicalization of their supported by iran but also saudi arabia security in the way we deal with other countries. many people understand that
right now recently we've been involved in the same kind of activities with france has a dealt with issues, refueling and helping the with intelligence issues. something we need to take up in a serious way and if the committee is committed to doing so what i hope will happen as members of the spotty what the foreign relations committee do his job and will bring a bill forward to debate and amend. i'm hoping later today when i offer tabling motion members of this body will respect the members of foreign relations committee political back to committee with a commitment that we plan to bring forth legislation to deal appropriately with many issues relative to yemen, saudi arabia, iran, and ourselves.
we have been working for some time to deal with the authorization with the use of military force. an issue for many years. it is the replacement and revision of the -- that many people in this body have concerns about because it's been so long since they been enacted. activities taken place around the world based on that. the markup on april the 19th scheduled to revise so we can give people an opportunity to weigh in on this issue the ways being constructed at present, when we go into new countries and take on new groups the senate would have the ability to weigh in.
i just like to say we are not shying away from this debate. legislation is being introduced in a bipartisan way to deal with this terrible issue taken place in yemen. we will have a hearing, will have a markup of them will have a markup on a new -- to do with issues were dealing with with al qaeda, isis and other entities with that i want to let people know that kind of the way we deal with things around here. none of us are happy with the correct status but a better way to come up with a prudent solution is to go through the normal committee process. i hope members will expect respect that and this policy has been taken place in yemen it started obama administration,
the same exact policy the senate has acted on it by voting for appropriations. it's not as if we have not taken action. we've done that through various state departments we've acted upon it, their concerns about what's happening legislation will be introduced to try to deal with it and that's why we deal with complicated issues. no one is shying away from the debate we need to deal with it in an orderly appropriate way. >> later today the senate will be voting on a privilege revolution that i spoke on yesterday offered by three of our colleagues. simply put, it would direct the pres