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tv   U.S. Senate Senators on Yemen War Powers Resolution Saudi Arabia  CSPAN  May 2, 2019 9:20pm-9:44pm EDT

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53-45 not enough for those required to override the veto. the republicans voting in favor senators calling, murkowski, paul and jan now we look at the debate on the resolution prior to the vote. that brings us to the boat we will have today whether or not to override president trump veto of theip bipartisan legislationo lend support for saudi arabia's action in the catastrophic war in yemen.
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i see a colleague from connecticut on the floor and i want to thank him for his leadership in this area and i urge the senate together to stand up for american values and long-term interest and vote today to overturn the veto but there it is the conduct of the war in yemen, the grisly murder of american residents "washington post" columnist or the imprisonment of u.s. citizens or the violation of enbasic human rights, the united states must evaluate and reshape the relationship with saudi arabia. the crown prince has recklessly directed a brutal war in yemen for five years.
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it is one of the greatest disasters facing humanity and even after waging this war, the result has been they are more entrenched and more militarily sophisticated today than they were at the start of this catastrophe and the influence in the region has expanded. it's been a blunder and rather than vetoing the bipartisan legislation between the negotiated end to this catastrophe i i mentioned the
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murder of the u.s. resident and while she didn't post columnist and yet president trump through his community or the bus when it came to the question of whether or not it was the assessment of the cia director haskell and others who said they had been complicit and yet president trump said maybe he did, maybe he didn't and dismissg. the whoe thing when the united states businesses the cia determination responsible for the killing of an american residents and we do nothing, that sends a signal around the world that puts americans everywhere in danger
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and we have seen that crackdown with respect to the human rights violations in saudi arabia. just a week ago saudi arabia beheaded 37 citizen most of them minority executions across the country and amnesty international pointed out it's nothing more than a sham trial a young man convicted for a rally during the era of the spring and i have here a headline report
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michigan university a young man was beheaded in saudi arabia. a man who was a teenager was part of the democracy movement imprisoned by the authorities he had been attending one of the universities and he was beheaded. you also find they are detaining a number of citizen nationals for their activism on human rights they were seeking freedom in saudi arabia and so rather than holding the regime accountable, this administration is determined toe move forward n a secret way with providing nuclear assistance. they talk about providing the authority of the companiese to
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engage in the conversations even though they talked about acquiring nuclear weaponsri and raised the possibility of the nuclear fuel from their reactors on the border of the neighboring countries. so, madam president, instead of helping the saudis with their nuclear program and incentive instead of vetoing the legislation to hold them accountable, the press should be reaching out on behalf of the american interest but he chose not to end it is now our duty in a bipartisan way to stand up for the values and american interests, and i urge the senate to vote to override the veto of president trump.
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the senator from connecticut. >> thank you madam president. let me thank my colleague from maryland for outlining one of the cases for the override of the presidents veto why it's so important. there is no question that saudi arabia has in no way moderated their human rights behaviors in
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since the murder. senator van hollen has pointed out that the stake in america's eye has gotten sharper. the number of executions has increased. more american citizens are being detained. senator van hollen reference to the case of the harvard trained beencian has allegedly tortured including stripped to his underwear and shocked with electricity and is on trial a year and a half after his request. if the saudis behavior hasas gotten or outrageous and has cost more human rights lives and safety of more citizens, yet no
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response from the congress, not a single piece of legislation moving through the senate that would hold them accountable for the murder of jamaal. we almost shut down the relationship with turkey over the detained men of an american pastor but there is no similar response with evidence of torture outweighs that? today we specifically litigate the case of the disastrous war that continues to rage inside of cnn today. i want to read a short excerpt written by a u.s. diplomat neither democrat or republican, he was a foreign officer who did
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some of the toughest work in the middle east including ambassador to lebanon many people know him and i know he commands as much respect from republicans as he does from democrats. he writes it's been a disaster for u.s. interests, for the saudi interest and above all it's sparked the largest humanitarian catastrophe in tens of thousands of civilians killed and 14 ileana risk of starvation. it's been aat strategic one or with the exact result of the military campaign-l designed to prevent they are more sophisticated and better able to strike beyond the borders than they were at the start of the war the influence has expanded though they've waged against yemen, terrorism remains a grave
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threat. i could read similar pronouncements from all sorts of other middle eastern experts. there is a hegemony of opinion that the war has been a disaster not just from a humanitarian standpoint. i chose a picture in which this young starving boy's back is turned to the camera but there are plenty of others in which you would have a hard time holding down your lunch. they are more insight of the military fight. there is a political deal to be
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had if the united states chose to lead diplomatically, there is a political deal that can be h had. there is not going to be a peace settlement without the united states as the lead. instead we simply choose to follow the military campaign of the saudis the campaign that murdered thousands of civilians either on purpose or by accident has destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the country, and it doesn't relent. every timeso you meet with somebody from the administration they tell you it's getting there but there is no evidence of that. march 26 airstrikes reportedly had a hospital supported by save
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the children in northwest yemen. it's on the list of targets that they cannot hate that yet they continue to do so. of the relief agencies that do the big heavy lifting to talk to the delegation. i thought it was exceptional that they were making the trip but when they delivered the news that they had, i understood why they were making the trip to meet with us. the report they gave us was absolutely bone chilling. and i want you to listen to this. today there are 250,000 or so malnourished a and sick that thy
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are beyond saving. they are so sick and malnourished that they cannot be saved and another 10 million are on the cusp of entering that category. the only way to stop this of the scope and scale we see nowhere else in the world is to end the civil war so long as they can to defeat could participate while not offering any meaningful pressure to ge give to a politil settlement, we are complicit in those. a quarter million will die from starvation and disease and malnutrition due to a military campaign that we are a part of. don't get me wrong, they bear a
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degree of responsibility for those that are starving inside of the territories that they control. this 15 to 20% of relief supplies that they take for themselves but hundreds of thousands of those who are dying or who are subject to disease by the coalition isn't just a matter of the refusal to let supplies get the people that need them, there are people dying in parts of the country that the coalition of which the united states as is a part of controls and we are standing by largely i only as the devastation continues.l even if you don't think the political settlement is coming,
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the united states shouldgl never willingly be a part of the campaign that results in this kind of starvation, but i hope you will also do it becauseec if you believe that iran is the number one objective of the interest in the region or u.s. interests in s the region they e getting stronger at this single day. it's been a massive failure. the battle lines don't move and they remained strong in that country because of the chaos every single day it becomes more and more influential. get out ofai the military campaign, take the lead on the diplomatic effort rather than simply following others with a
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power to send the message. i agree with senator van hollen it's about sending a message to saudi arabia about the detainment of american citizens and residents, this is about standing up for human rights in the case of 37 people convicted and beheaded inside of saudi arabia several of them are minors, but this isls also about swearing in i the u.s. policy wh security interests and getting the blood off your hands. it's 250,000 yemenis but face certain death if we don't do something different. soon. i yield the floor. >> the senator from maryland. i >> i want to thank senator murphy for his long-standingnt commitment to this humanitarian need. we are now just a senate vote away from making a major difference in regards to the humanitarian crisis in yemen and
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every member of the senate will t now be on record, so i want to senator murphy to know that his work has been extremely important in this well understood and i want to underscore what he's saying that df the u.s. military engagement with saudi arabia and its partners is counterproductive, not just to the humanitarian crisis that exists today but to america's national security interest. thinterests. the conflict has become a humanitarian nightmare. at this point our involvement doesn't advance the interest of the united states our partners or regional stability. i recognize we have a partnership with saudi arabia and a mutual desire to prevent the expansion of the influence of terrorist groups seek to do us harm. however, the current military
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support to saudi arabia and the conflict has become detrimental to these shared goals and brought partnership. madam president, the suffering this conflict have caused is beyond measure. more than 22 million people, nearly 75% of the population are at grave risk. the country has seen the largest colorado outbreak which is called thousand. hunger and malnutrition are threatening 2 million innocent children under the age of five. continuing the military involvement in the disaster is simply not an option. i'd also like michael thinks to look beyond the direct support to the road the u.s. arms sales
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play in worsening the conflict. the sales couldn't come out of the expense of human rights mass atrocities and regional destabilization. saudi arabia has shown a disregard for international law by inflicting devastating losses ilon civilians including young children. it's now well known that the saudi led coalition party civilians ended richard are vital to the recovery and reconstruction. in fact the recent report concluded that the coalition is the leading cause of civilian casualties with 61% due to the coalition. the human rights watch advocacy international found the u.s. weapons have been used in these airstrikes. there is evidence the coalition has used banned and indiscriminate weapons and
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cluster bombs. the military conflict has produced a staggering human tirights abuses. the international organizations and special expert groups established by the human rights council found that all parties in the conflict have committed grave violations of human rights the laws. of war. the war crimes and abuses are staggering. however, reports indicated that part owners have also engaged in the abuses including widespread torture, abuse of coalition secret prisons. for all these reasons, it is imperative that there would be a conclusion to the conflict in yemen. it's clear however that this will not come from our military involvement. we must instead focus our efforts on supporting the efforts to foster dialogue, cease-fire and humanitarian access. it's critical to prevent an
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expansion, it's critical to prevent expansion of the iran influence and extreme groups in the region, that the military involvement is not helping us in that regard. experts from across the aisle agree to escalation of the conflict has increased iran and extreme groups implemented in yemen. our military campaign is counterproductive to the objective to minimize the influence and hopefully eliminate the influence of iran and extreme groups. with allnd of these republicans into democrats and the senate and house oandhouse of representatie together to pass the joint resolution seven. the reason for selling concrete visible to me the president chose to veto the resolution. we recently responded by stating, and i quote, people are watching closely and the the
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messages t the u.s. leaders sent have the power to save lives with a veto they lost faith in the united states and see the end of the turning a little further out of reach. madam president, it's not too late for congress to do the right thing by overriding the veto we assert the authority to support peace and human rights while taking america safer and more secure. madam president, i would yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. >> in support of the resolution we will be voting on tha it senn important message that this body representing the american people wishes to end the direct military support for the saudi led coalition campaign in yemen. i'm disappointed. but not surprised the president issued a veto choosing to stand by a campaign of devastating consequences for the people of


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