VT Senator Sanders Statement after Senate Passes Yemen War Powers Resolution
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke at a press conference Thursday after the Senate voted 56-41 to pass his resolution calling for an end to US military support to the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war. See below for a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you all very much for being here. Let me begin by thanking Senator Lee and Senator Murphy for the great work they have done, not just in the last few months but over the last year.
I want to stress the bipartisan nature of this legislation. We have brought Republicans and Democrats together in a very historic moment. And what that moment is about is that the Senate this afternoon stated that we will not continue participation in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth.
And that crisis is about 85,000 children starving to death; 10,000 new cases of cholera every single week; and the United Nations telling us that Yemen is on the verge of imminent famine, with the possibility of millions of people dying, all because of Saudi activities in that civil war.
And today what the United States Senate said in a very loud way is that we will not continue to have our military posture dictated by a despotic, murderous regime in Saudi Arabia – a regime which does not respect democracy, which does not respect human rights, a regime whose leader nobody doubts was involved in the horrific murder of a dissident journalist in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Jamal Khashoggi.
Today is a very important breakthrough – both progressives and conservatives have made a profound statement that 45 years after the passage of the War Powers Act, 45 years later, finally the United States Senate has come together to use that authority for the first time and say that the responsibility for war, the constitutional responsibility for war rests with the United States Congress – not the president, whether that president is a Democrat or a Republican.
And I think the historic importance of today is not only moving the United States out of that horrific war, but is having the country see that their elected representatives are about to take back their constitutional responsibilities on the issues of war, one of the most important functions that the United States Congress has.
So I want to thank my colleagues here and the many people at the grassroots level who have helped us pass this historic resolution.”