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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Ben Cardin D-MD on Yemen War  CSPAN  December 13, 2018 9:20am-9:32am EST

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of the world. we don't have that many friends, we can't afford to lose any of them. while we must be frank with our partners when something is wrong. we must be cautious in damaging a strategic relationship that goes back over half a century. for this reason, i'm hoping that the resolution will be introduced and in which case i will be supporting the resolution that the leader and senator corker has introduced. it criticizes the saudi government for its recent behavior and encourages to get on the right path, the right path to redouble its reform efforts and respect the rights of the citizens and work tornados a peaceful resolution in yemen. and the choices that we have, this is clearly the best choice out there. with that i'll yield the floor. >> thank you, mr. president, i
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take this time to support the passage of senate joint resolution 54. i commend my colleagues who have brought this resolution forward. the impact of this resolution would be to end the u.s. military engagement in yemen and i believe that that military engagement should end for several reasons. first, let me comment on what others have already pointed out and that is what humanitarian crisis in yemen is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the world. that's saying a lot because there's a lot of areas around the world where we're seeing humanitarian challenges. but in yemen today, 10,000 people have been killed due to the war. 22 million plus, 75% of the population of yemen are at great risk today. the-- there's estimated that there are 400,000 children under the
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age of five that are at the risk of starvation due to hunger and malnutrition. 85,000 children have died, according to save the children from starvation. and the u.s. military engagement has really not assisted in ending this humanitarian crisis. there are 1 million people with cholera. 8.4 million on the verge of famine. and we have been, for a long time, focused on the port, saying it had to be opened in order to be able to deliver humanitarian assistance and i think many of us thought that because of our military involvement in yemen, at a minimum, we could get the port opened, and we find that we are not able to be able to have safe routes for the delivery of
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humanitarian assistance. so, we have not, through our military, been able to impact the horrible tragedies that are taking place because of this humanitarian disaster. secondly, i think most experts would tell us there is no military solution to the war that's taking place in yemen that dates back to 2014. the wars sides are not goi-- th warring sides are not going to end because of military. it's going to take diplomacy and our military has not assisted a diplomatic answer and we have not made the progress many of us would have expected. yes, i believe that america needs to be engaged in yemen just not from our military. let's do an all-out press on diplomacy and bring the parties to the peace table to end this horrible conflict. yes, make no mistake about it, the houthis are not nice
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people, i understand that, but we're not going to win this by our military so let's concentrate on diplomacy. i think many have pointed out, yes, we're a bit in this region since the end of-- since the attack on our country on september 11th. and nothing in this resolution would affect our ability to fight against al qaeda and its associated forces. the resolution specifically exempts, specifically exempts from the withdrawal of american military, our campaign against al qaeda and associated forces. there's also no question that the saudis engaged in this conflict that there have been many violations of human rights and, yes, we are facilitating and helping -- i'm not saying we're committing, but we're
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certainly part of the saudi effort. we are supposedly helping them with targeting. that means giving them intelligence information to minimize civilian casualties, and i am certain that american military is helping in that regard. but the bottom line we're told that 61% of civilian casualties are due to coalition strikes, so there is tremendous civilian loss as a result of this campaign and the united states is one of the honest brokers in trying to minimize that. we have not been successful through the use of our military. the use of our military has never been authorized by congress. now, this is a debate we've had many, many times and i know the distinguished chairman, senate foreign relations committee has been a part of that debate and has wanted us to come to grips with a congressional authorization for military use
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in yemen. i applaud the chairman and i'm proud to be on that committee. if it would have been left up to the committee we would have been able to agree with that resolution. i'm not saying that we are culpable, but we have not passed the authorization, there is no authorization for the u.s. of military force in yemen, despite the fact that article 1, section 8, clause 11 of the constitution of the united states gives the congress the sole power to declare war. we're spoble for military and you can't get that authorization, there should at least be a presumption that we shouldn't be using our military. if you can't get the support of congress. if a president, commander-in-chief can't get the support of congress for use of force, there should not be a suspend use. we know there are emergency situations and we expect to see the commander-in-chief does not
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have an emergency situation. this is a situation where there should be an authorization of the use of force if we are to remain. i don't believe we should remain. that we've had our disagreements with the president on the oust of force and congress passed a war powers act and the president didn't like it and we passed it general way and we believe that the should respect the will of congress under powers of article one to declare war and authorize our military presence. now, section 5-c gives the power to congress to pass a joint resolution to remove our troops where there has been no authorization. what is being done today. the resolution before us is a vehicle that we determined to be the appropriate way to remove our troops to an unauthorized war. and so therefore, it's an
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appropriate action by the congress and probably the only action we can take in order to end the war in yemen with u.s. participation. i want to make a comment about the relationship between the united states and saudi. heard many of my colleagues talk about it. i think it's a very important relationship, mr. president. i think saudis are a strategic partner of the united states. i've had many opportunities to visit with the saudis and i know a lot about a lot of things they're doing. make no mistake about it, that relationship is important to the united states, but very important to the saudis and it's more than just our military support for the war in yemen. it has a lot to do with security, it has to do with economics. and our relationship should always be wrapped in our values. our foreign policy should be
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bas based upon our values as americans and our values with regard to what's happening in the war in yemen tells us we shouldn't be participating in it and i haven't even mentioned the tragic death of jamal khashoggi and when you look at the royal family and the crown prince, that clearly cannot go unchallenged. human rights in the military campaign all cries out for the u.s. not to be involved. and the passage of joint resolution 54 will, in fact, make that a reality and i urge our colleagues to support that resolution. >> the u.s. senate will gavel in in a moment on this thursday. this afternoon they'll vote on a measure to end military support for the war on yemen. yesterday lawmakers vote today move ahead with that legislation. a number of amendments are
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expected today and we've seen a number of speeches this week from senators who are retiring. this morning, senators dean heller of nevada and jeff flake of arizona will deliver their farewell remarks to colleagues. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. . the senate. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, our protector, mountains melt in your presence and
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islands shout for joy. we praise you because your ways are just and true. you know our hearts and minds like an open book. thank you for the security we have in you. when all around us seems daunting, you alone remain our rock and refuge. give our lawmakers this day such reverence for you that they will stay in the path of integrity. may they think about you throughout the day whispering prayers of gratitude for your goodness and grace.


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