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tv   U.S. Senate Senators Mike Lee Bernie Sanders on Yemen War Powers...  CSPAN  May 2, 2019 5:16pm-5:46pm EDT

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veto in the u.s. to see the end of the suffering a little further out of reach. it's not too late for congress to do the right thing. by overwriting this, we assert the authority to support peace and human rights while making america safer and more secure. i yield the floor. >> the members of this body and members of the u.s. house of representatives, resoundingly have voted in favor of joint resolution seven which would remove u.s. armed forces from yemen. d,unconstitutional, unjustified
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and ultimately, immoral war is repeatedly, over the last year. thankfully, america's elected lawmakers in washington have taken a stand against it. now the president had vetoed our resolution but today we have the opportunityit i believe we haven absolute constitutional duty but once again, take a stand on this important matter. today we had the opportunity to override the veto in pursuit of justice, prudence and upholding the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. this is one of the most important fundamental features of our constitutional system. congress and congress alone may declare war.th this is direct contrast to the way our national government, the one in london worked. it could take the country to work. not in america, not under our system or the constitution. that is one of the distinguishing characteristic
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pointed out. we've already heard the "humanitarian crisis" in yemen in dire. estimate show the crisis iss evn worse than we previously thoug thought. the yemen war claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, including a lot of innocent civilians. attacks that can only be described as horrific. it's believed that from 2016 -- 201,860,000 civilians were killed indirect violence attached to this work. the full scale of suffering from starvation, property and disease is even more staggering than the stark numbers that i just quoted involving direct combat more
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violence. over half the population of yemen is considered currently to be in the crisis stage of famine. estimate of 3.3 million children are malnourished.he 84000 children died between the start of the war in 2015 and october 2018. water and sanitation conditions awful lead to the largest outbreak in history. more than 1.3 million suspected cases in over 2600 related deaths since april 2017 outbreak. in the claims of some of our critics, the u.s. has been aiding and abetting these horrors of this war. these critics claim that we have
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somehow not been involved in a war in yemen. in march 2015, shortly after saudi arabia launched its war against the rebels, the ministration obama authorized the forces to provide logistical and intelligent support to the saudi collision. the obama administration provided this authorization without any kind of approval from congress. since then, we have helped the saudi's with surveillance, and information target selection insistence and quite recently, with refueling. including mid air refueling involving combat missions. we've been materially assisting a foreign power in its efforts to bomb its adversaries. sometimes helping that power to
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bomb innocent civilians on the ground in the process. our resolution, they claimed that it undeclared, unconstitutional, immoral in yemen. somehow constitutional and somehow authorized. under the war power act of 1973. which authorizes the executive branch and cases of emergencies and the conflict in yemen, between that group and the saudi act government on the other ha hand, by no means constitutes or in any way presents a threat to the safety of american citizens in the u.s. our involvement has far
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surpassed the allotment of any emergency contemplated under the war resolution. still others say that we are not engaged in hostility, there constitutes conflict before under the war powers act. these critics are relying on an overly narrow and outdated definition from a 1976 memorandum. memorandum i wouldm add to the executive branch, and the respected sub serving and one that does not include the high-tech activities before today. the way we fight wars today often and up involving cyber activity.
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surveillance and target selection. the precise activities were engaged in in this war in yemen. nven aside from that, the war powers act, we ourselves, do not have to be involved in a hostilities. we do not have to establish in order to trigger the act. that we are involved in hostilities. the war powers act is triggered so long as we are sufficiently involved with the armed forces of another nation when they, another nation are themselves involved in hostility. there can be no doubt in our mind, not in my mind or your mind or the mind of any american that the saudi's are engaged in hostilities in yemen. we are hope -- we are helping
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them. it's inconsequential if you accept this self-serving arrow outdated definition of the word hostility found in this the permit of defense memorandum. some opponents of this effort, this resolution who called for withdrawal under this unconstitutional immoral war in yemen, some of them t are saying removing u.s. forces would somehow hurt our efforts to combat terrorism in the region. specifically against al qaeda and isis and what in danger the lives of american citizens and soldiers. in the first place, these critics are dangerously conflated, different legal conflicts, the conflict in yemen
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is a regional civil war. it's not about al qaeda or isis. even if it were, our resolution, the one we're talking about today in the context of a veto override, that resolution explicitly states that it would not impede the military's ability to fight the terror groups. furthermore, there is evidence that our involvement in yemen might well have and probably has further destabilized the region, it's actually undermined the effort a against al qaeda's affiliates. 2016 state department report found the conflict between the saudi's led forces and the insurgence has actually helped al qaeda in the insula and isis yemen branch to deepen their
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inroads across much ofse the country. so no, involvement in yemen is far from being in the best interest of the u.s. not even by a shred. every day, it only becomes clearer and clearer that saudi not an ally that deserves our unwavering unquestioning support the militaryst event ordination. especially when our own security, the security of the american people is not on the line. ask october, there was the killing of tomorrow. fabric suggesting the u.s. transferred american weapons to al qaeda links other military
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groups. in other words, the coalition is possibly giving our own weapons in violation of our own vreements with them. to get to the very terrorist groups, we are trying to fight the very terrorist groups opponents incorrectly suggest that benefits in this resolution. just this pastas week, it servid that the saudi's ruthlessly beheaded 37 men who are mainly minority muslims. five of them gay men who were suspected to have been tortured into a confession. perhaps we ought not be supporting that regime at all. perhaps we ought not give unflinching, unwavering, unquestioning devotion to a regime that treats its own people that way.
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it's harmed others in its own region in the way that it has. at a bare minimum, we should not be fighting an unjust civil war on their behalf. half a world away without congressional authorization. article one, section eight of the constitution, unequivocally states that artists shall have the power to declare war. at the president, at the pentagon or someone else in the executive branch, not some expert anywhere in the executive branch and congress. the congress and they made it this way because they understood the decision about whether to go to war is a decision for us with moral peril. there's nothing pretty about war.
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it always, when we face that decision, involves a decision to put american blood on the line. even if you think with modern-day weaponry or the which we fight war war, if you think that american blood and treasure is one thing for on the line, it simply isn't true. that's exactly why the founding fathers put it in the ranch. they exercise squarely in front of the people by the representatives most accountable to the people at the most regular because of the peril necessarily involved in any decision to go to work. moral peril involving the use of u.s. resources, putting on the line of american blood and also the peril it creates from
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wherever we are going to war. if you truly believe our involvement in yemen is crucial for the safety of american citizens and america's best interest generally. ....not that . >> i urge my colleagues to take it for go thinking that a president i yield the floor.
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. >> madam president. >> the senator fromro vermont. >> let me think senator lee and senator murphy for their consistent and leadership on this issue there is not a lot of bipartisanship that indicates people with very different political philosophies can come together on an issue of this enormous magnitude i want to thank them. i rise today to speak in support of overwriting the president's veto of the senate resolution n number seven. april 16 despite telling us
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they are opposed to endless wars president trump uses a second veto of the presidencysi to have a joint resolution number seven which directs the removal of us armed forces intervention in the republic of yemen which began four years ago. madam president, the vote of that resolution was 54 or 46 all democrats voting in seven republicans the resolution passed the house on april 4th a bipartisan bill of 247 through 175. the current situation in yemen is the worst humanitarian
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disaster on earth. march 2015 under the leadership and when the war took place. according to the united nations yemen is at risk of more than 100 years with some 14 million people this is a small country a small poor country 14 million now face starvation as a result of the
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intervention that we are supporting according to save the children from 85000 children have already starve toth death. and many more face death if it continues and it gets much worse than that a new united nations commission just published by the university of denver states the impact on civilians particularly children is far more serious than previously thought. the report estimates that by the end of 2019 to have taken the lives of some 219,000 people in yemen. including 140,000 children
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under the age of five. according to this report, every 12 minutes a yemeni child is dying as a result. a magnitude of the sufferingg is unimaginable. we are talking about the possibility of millions of people starving to death. hundreds of thousands of people dying by the end of this year. and the fact is the united states with relatively little media attention has been saudi arabia in this role. we are providing the moms the coalition is using we have been refueling their planes before they dropped the bombs
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and assisting with intelligence using to kill children. meeting with yemeni activists they had come to urge congress to put a stop to this war and told me clearly when they see made in usa on the bombs that are killing them and tells them the usa is responsible for this war. that is a sad and tragic truth the bottom line the united states should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and irresponsible foreign-policy.
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issue number one mister president is the horrific tragedy we are contributing to an yemen. united states involvement is clearly unconstitutional. some are strict constitutionalist if you are a strict constitutionalist voting to override the veto because this war has not been authorized by congress if unconstitutional.ue let me remind my colleagues who may have forgotten what is in the united states constitution. article one, section eight,
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eight, congress shall have power to declare war. while the president has thee authority once it has been declared to give the power to authorize military conflict to congress that is most accountable to the people. under the war powers act of 1973, the assignment of the united states on - - night estates armed forces to participate in the movement of or a company another countries military to constitute the introduction of the united states into a conflict. our military involvement of the war in yemen that has intelligence support is where as aerial refueling clearly
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meets this definition. united states congress under both democratic and republican administrations have advocated its constitutional role with regard towa the authorization of war. the historic passage of this resolution the first time since the 1973 war powers resolution was passed that has been successfully used to have the united states with the war was a long overdue step to reassert the constitutional authority. after advocating that responsibility and said mister
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president you do not have the power to get us troops involved in a war that we did not i vote upon. with the constitution of the united states mandated.e within a half hour the united states senate must act to protect that constitutional responsibility by overwriting the president's veto. there are members of this body and that new support and a number of reasons and bring
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that resolution to the floor of the senate let's have that debate to explain to the american people why should be spending significant amounts of money that is what the constitution says you should do that that is absolutely clear that is the responsibility of the senate and house and then they decided to send the troops into conflict.
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this afternoon they must make clear to follow their lead with military intervention that with any movement in that country for democracy with an incredibly wealthy family to have the distinction of owning the largest yacht in the y world with the responsible military intervention.
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it treats women as third class citizens and seven months ago to murder a journalist in cold blood that was a signal to any dissidentt in saudi arabia. if you dare speak out against the royal family that is what you have to look forward to. getting killed in cold blood. and in saudi arabia so the word has to get out we will not be following than they are only causing horrific pain.
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and in my view what we should be doing in yemen now, is supporting a diplomatic solution that brings peace to the region to provide immediate humanitarian aid and to help the people with the international community to rebuild which is dysfunctional today this is an important goal that says that people of yemen need humanitarian aid not more bombs. that the united states senate believes in the constitution of this country it is congress not the president that determines whether we go to
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war and to tell saudi arabia we will not follow their lead. so mister president i hope very much the members of this body summon up their courage and override trumps veto. thank you mister president and i yield the floor. >> i arrived today to cast myob vote in support of the resolution we are voting on to send an important message that people wish to add direct us military support of the saudi led coalitions. i'm not surprised the president issued a veto to stand by the campaign to devastating consequences to the people of yemen. everyotol time we have a resolution

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