LEGISLATIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 72
(Senate - May 02, 2019)

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[Pages S2585-S2593]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          LEGISLATIVE SESSION



  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to legislative session to resume consideration of the veto 
message on S.J. Res. 7, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Veto message, a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 7) to direct 
     the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in 
     the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  (The remarks of Senator Cornyn pertaining to the submission of S. 
1303 are printed in today's Record under ``Submitted Resolutions.'')
  Mr. CORNYN. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). The Senator from Arkansas.


  Mr. BOOZMAN. Madam President, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
turned 70 last month. Congressional leaders invited NATO Secretary 
General Jens Stoltenberg to deliver an address before a joint meeting 
of Congress to mark the historic occasion.
  The Secretary General began his speech with a vivid description of 
two monuments outside of the organization's headquarters in Belgium--
one, a piece of the Berlin Wall and the other, a twisted steel beam 
from the north tower of the World Trade Center. Both serve a special 
purpose as powerful reminders for NATO members of where we have been 
and are going and our commitment to one another.
  The United States and our transatlantic allies have seen the world 
change considerably during the seven decades of NATO's existence. The 
threat posed by the Soviet Union--one of the main reasons the alliance 
was formed--no longer exists, but the challenge of an increasing and 
hostile Russia has now taken its place.
  Since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, Vladimir Putin has 
stepped up his acts of aggression by arming pro-Russia rebels in 
Ukraine, carrying out bombing campaigns on behalf of a murderous regime 
in Syria, and conducting cyber attacks on Western democracies.
  Russia continues to seize land and expand its presence in Georgia, 
illegally occupying roughly 20 percent of Georgia's internationally 
recognized territory. On top of this, Russia has deployed mobile, 
nuclear-capable missiles in Europe. This clear violation of the INF 
Treaty will have long-term ramifications for NATO countries.
  As the Secretary General stated in his joint session address, ``an 
agreement that is only respected by one side will not keep us safe.'' 
We don't have to return to a Cold War era arms race as a result of 
Russia's actions. However, as Secretary General Stoltenberg noted, we 
must ``prepare for a world without the INF Treaty and take the 
necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence.''
  While the threat posed by a resurgent Russia reinforces the need for 
a strong NATO, it is far from the only concern facing the alliance. 
China's expanding global influence and the aspirations of smaller rogue 
nations, like North Korea and Iran, will continue to challenge the West 
moving forward.
  Additionally, while we have made great strides to eliminate ISIS on 
the battlefield, the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorists remains 
ever present and knows no boundaries.
  The horrific Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka have been linked to 
the terror group, proving that it clearly continues to export its 
tactics and recruitment well beyond Syria and Iraq.
  There is no doubt that Western democracies remain squarely on ISIS's 
target list. In fact, the propaganda arm of ISIS just released a video 
of the group's leader, where he makes that threat abundantly clear.
  Amid all of these challenges, NATO stands as a very visible 
deterrent. When half of the world's military stands together, bad 
actors take notice. Collectively, NATO members also make up half of the 
world's economic

[[Page S2586]]

might. The prosperity of NATO members makes the alliance that much 
stronger. With that prosperity, however, comes responsibility.
  The strength of NATO is contingent on each other and every member 
paying its fair share. Every member nation must meet the agreed-upon 
defense spending levels. Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed this 
point during his address, and this message has begun to resonate with 
NATO members. An additional $41 billion has been spent on defense by 
our European allies and Canada in the last 2 years alone. That number 
is expected to reach $100 billion--$100 billion--by the end of the 
  President Trump deserves credit for bringing about this sea change. 
His words to allies not living up to their commitments were conveyed in 
a very direct manner. NATO must be a fair alliance. The President's 
tough-love message has worked. The majority of our NATO allies have 
pledged to meet their financial obligations by 2024. The United States 
has been and must continue to be a strong example in this regard.
  This is an important point to remember as we fulfill our funding 
obligations for fiscal year 2020. We must build on the progress we have 
made in recent years to end the chronic uncertainty that has negatively 
impacted our military readiness for far too long.
  The Trump administration and Congress's shared commitment to our 
national security has helped to renew America's strength and given a 
blueprint to our NATO allies for how they, too, can help achieve their 
share of our common defense.
  Congress has ushered through the largest investment in our national 
defense since the Reagan administration, and President Trump has 
initiated the modernization of our nuclear arsenal and a national 
strategy for missile defense. These were not easy lifts, but the United 
States has made them all happen. Our allies can as well.
  We have accomplished a great deal together in the past, but many 
challenges remain for NATO in the future. As we mark the 70th year of 
the alliance, we do so with the knowledge that our friends from across 
the Atlantic will continue to be trusted partners who stand by each 
other in our hours of need.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Madam President, I thank my colleague for his 
comments in support of NATO and the alliance, one that we share on a 
bipartisan basis here in the Senate.

                       Remembering Richard Lugar

  Madam President, I wish to take a few moments to honor former Senator 
Richard Lugar, who passed away on April 28.
  Richard Lugar's leadership as chairman of the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee was a model of statesmanship--someone who put 
country over party and principle over politics.
  I did not have the privilege of serving as a Senator with Richard 
Lugar, but I did have an opportunity to see him in action when I served 
as a Senate staff member, working on national security issues for 
another great Senator and statesman, Senator Mac Mathias, who also 
served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  During that time, I witnessed Richard Lugar's work on a bipartisan 
basis to achieve major foreign policy successes. He had the vision to 
remain true to American values, and in a complex world, he took the 
long view of what was best for our country. Those traits produced the 
landmark law to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, known as 
the Nunn-Lugar Act, after its chief authors. The program has led to the 
elimination of more than 10,000 nuclear warheads, more than 1,000 
ICBMs, and almost 40,000 tons of chemical agents that had been 
scattered across the former Soviet Union.
  I was especially inspired by Senator Lugar's work to end the racist 
apartheid regime in South Africa. At the time, the Reagan 
administration was pursuing a policy of so-called ``constructive 
engagement'' with that apartheid regime. The Reagan administration was 
opposed to imposing sanctions on South Africa to help free Nelson 
Mandela, who was imprisoned, and to bring about an end to apartheid 
rule. Senator Lugar understood that continued engagement with that 
regime undermined America's values and our interests. As chairman of 
the Foreign Relations Committee, he led the efforts to pass the 
legislation to impose sanctions on South Africa, and when President 
Reagan vetoed that bill, Senator Lugar lead the bipartisan effort to 
overturn the veto of the President of his own party. That override was 
successful. Richard Lugar spurned partisanship in order to do the right 
thing for America.

                              S.J. Res. 7

  Madam President, that brings us to the vote we will have today--
whether or not to override President Trump's veto of the bipartisan 
legislation to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's brutal actions in 
the catastrophic war in Yemen.
  I see Senator Murphy, a colleague from Connecticut, on the floor. I 
thank him for his leadership in this area.
  I urge the Senate to stand up together for American values and for 
our long-term interests and to vote today to overturn President Trump's 
  Whether it is Saudi Arabia's conduct in the war in Yemen, their 
grizzly murder of American resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal 
Khashoggi, their imprisonment of U.S. citizens, or their gross 
violations of basic human rights, the United States must reevaluate and 
reshape our relationship with Saudi Arabia.
  Let's look at Yemen. The Crown Prince has recklessly directed a 
brutal war in Yemen for 5 years. That war has resulted in the world's 
largest humanitarian catastrophe. More than 100,000 civilians have been 
killed, and millions more are on the brink of starvation. More than 100 
children die every day from extreme hunger there.
  In fact, the United Nations has called the war in Yemen one of the 
``greatest preventable disasters facing humanity.'' Even after waging 
this brutal war, the result has been that the Iranian-backed Houthis 
are more entrenched and more militarily sophisticated today than they 
were at the start of this catastrophe, and Iranian influence in the 
region has expanded.
  In short, the Crown Prince's and Saudi Arabia's military adventurism 
has been a major strategic blunder. So rather than vetoing the 
bipartisan legislation from Congress, the President's administration 
should be working overtime to help resolve the conflict and bring a 
negotiated end to that catastrophe.
  I mentioned the vile and brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who was a 
U.S. resident and a Washington Post columnist. Yet President Trump 
threw his own intelligence community under the bus when it came to the 
question of whether the Crown Prince had been complicit in the murder 
of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It was the assessment 
of CIA Director Gina Haspel and others who said that the Crown Prince 
had been complicit in that murder. Yet President Trump said: ``Maybe he 
did and maybe he didn't,'' and dismissed the whole thing. When the 
United States dismisses a CIA determination that the Crown Prince is 
responsible for the brutal killing and murder of an American resident, 
and we do nothing, that sends an awful signal around the world that 
puts Americans everywhere in danger.
  Then, of course, we have seen just recently the terrible crackdown 
with respect to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. In fact, just 
a week ago, Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 citizens, most of them minority 
Shiites, in mass executions across the country for alleged terrorism-
related crimes, which Amnesty International pointed out were nothing 
more than sham trials that relied on confessions extracted through 
torture. Among those put to death was a young man convicted for 
reportedly attending a pro-democracy rally during the Arab Spring when 
he was just a teenager.
  I have here a headline report: ``Young Man Set to Attend Western 
Michigan University was Beheaded in Saudi Arabia.'' This was a man who 
was a teenager, was part of a democracy movement, and was imprisoned by 
the Saudi authorities. He had been intending to attend one of our 
American universities, and yet he was beheaded. You also find that the 
Saudis are detaining a number of American citizens, dual nationals, for 
their activism on human rights. They were seeking greater freedom for 
women in Saudi Arabia.

[[Page S2587]]

  So rather than holding the Saudi regime accountable, this 
administration instead seems determined to move forward, in a very 
secret way, with providing nuclear assistance to the Saudi Government. 
They have talked about providing the authority for U.S. companies to 
engage in these conversations, even though Saudi leaders have openly 
talked about acquiring nuclear weapons and have raised the possibility 
of dumping spent nuclear fuel from their reactors on the border of 
neighboring countries.
  Instead of helping the Saudis with their nuclear program and instead 
of vetoing bipartisan legislation to hold the Saudi Government and the 
Crown Prince accountable, the President should be actually reaching out 
on behalf of American interests, but he chose not to. He vetoed the 
bill. It is now our duty, in a bipartisan way, to stand up for American 
values and American interests, and I urge this Senate to vote to 
override the veto of President Trump.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. MURPHY. Madam President, let me thank my colleague from Maryland 
for outlining one of the cases for why the override of the President's 
veto is so important.
  There is no question that Saudi Arabia has in no way moderated their 
human rights behavior since the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. In 
fact, as Senator Van Hollen has rightly pointed out, the stick in 
America's eye from Riyadh has just gotten sharper. The number of 
executions has increased. More American citizens are being detained. I 
didn't catch it as to whether Senator Van Hollen specifically 
referenced the case of Dr. Fitaihi, a Harvard-trained physician who has 
allegedly been tortured, including stripped to his underwear and 
shocked with electricity. He has been in detention without charges or a 
trial for 1\1/2\ years after his arrest.
  The Saudis' behavior has gotten more outrageous, has crossed more 
human rights lines, has compromised the safety of more American 
citizens, and yet no response from the U.S. Congress and not a single 
piece of legislation moving through the U.S. Senate that would hold the 
Saudis accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and now the 
detention of multiple U.S. residents. We almost shut down our 
relationship with Turkey over the detainment of an American pastor, but 
there is no similar response from this body when it comes to the 
continued detention of Americans in Saudi Arabia, with no trial, with 
no charges, and with evidence of torture. How is that? How is that?
  Today we specifically litigate the case of the disastrous war that 
continues to rage inside Yemen today. I want to read a very short 
excerpt written by a hardened U.S. diplomat. Jeffrey Feltman is not a 
Democrat or Republican. He was a career Foreign Service officer. He did 
some of the toughest duty in the Middle East, including a stint as our 
Ambassador to Lebanon. Many people know him, and I know he commands 
just as much respect from Republicans as he does from Democrats. Here 
is what he wrote. He said:

       The war in Yemen has been a disaster for U.S. interests, 
     for Saudi interests, and above all for the Yemeni people. It 
     has sparked the world's largest humanitarian catastrophe: 
     tens of thousands of civilians have been killed, and 14 
     million are at risk of starvation. It has been a strategic 
     blunder as well, producing the exact results the Saudi-led 
     military campaign was designed to prevent. The Houthis are 
     more militarily sophisticated and better able to strike 
     beyond Yemen's borders than they were at the start of the 
     war; Iranian influence has expanded; and the relationship 
     between the Houthis and Lebanon's Hezbollah has only 
     deepened. Although the United Arab Emirates has waged an 
     effective battle against al Qaeda in Yemen, terrorism remains 
     a grave threat.

  Now, I could read you similar pronouncements from all sorts of other 
Middle Eastern experts. There is a hegemony of opinion that this war 
has been a disaster not just from a humanitarian standpoint.
  I had to select a picture that, frankly, wouldn't induce sickness 
from my colleagues. I chose a picture in which this young, starving 
boy's back is turned to the camera, but there are plenty others in 
which you would have a hard time holding down your lunch.
  It is not just the humanitarian nightmare; it is the strategic 
nightmare that is Yemen. Every single day that we stay involved in this 
war, the battle lines do not change, and yet Iran and Hezbollah get 
more and more involved inside the military fight.
  There is a political deal to be had here. If the United States chose 
to lead diplomatically instead of follow militarily, there is a 
political deal that can be had, but for reasons I do not understand, 
the United States does not lead the diplomatic negotiations. We 
outsource that to the U.N. I am a big fan of the U.N., but there is not 
going to be a peace settlement in Yemen without the United States as 
the lead. Instead, we simply choose to follow the military campaign of 
the Saudis by helping them engage in a bombing campaign that has 
murdered thousands of civilians, either on purpose or by accident. It 
has destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the country, and it does 
not relent.
  Every single time you meet with somebody from the administration, 
they tell you: Well, it is getting better. It is getting better. There 
is really no evidence of that. On March 26, airstrikes reportedly hit a 
hospital supported by Save the Children in northwest Yemen, killing at 
least seven, including four children. There is no excuse for that 
because every single hospital is on the list of targets that the Saudis 
can't hit, and yet they continue to do so.
  Senator Romney and I just came back from the region, and here is what 
we heard. All of the relief agencies that do the big heavy lifting in 
Yemen flew into Amman, Jordan, to talk to our delegation. I thought it 
was exceptional that they were making this trip, but then when they 
delivered the news that they had, I understood why they were making the 
trip into Jordan to meet with us. The report they gave us was 
absolutely bone-chilling.
  I want you to listen to this. Today, in Yemen, there are 250,000 
Yemenis who are so malnourished and so sick that they are beyond 
saving. They will die. One-quarter million Yemenis are so sick, are so 
malnourished that they cannot be saved, and another 10 million are on 
the cusp of entering that category. The only way to stop this 
humanitarian disaster, of a scope and scale that we see nowhere else in 
the world, is to end this civil war.
  So long as the United States participates in the military campaign 
with the Saudis, while not offering any meaningful pressure to get to a 
political settlement, we are complicit in those deaths. One-quarter 
million people are going to die in the next several months inside Yemen 
from starvation and disease and malnutrition due to a military campaign 
that we are a part of. Don't get me wrong. The Houthis bear a great 
degree of responsibility for those who are starving inside territories 
they control. There is still 15 to 20 percent of the relief supplies 
that the Houthis steal and take for themselves, but hundreds of 
thousands of those who are dying or who are subject to disease and 
famine are in the parts of the country that are controlled by our 
coalition. This isn't just a matter of the Houthis refusing to let 
supplies get to people who need them. There are people dying in parts 
of the country that the coalition, of which the United States is a part 
of, controls, and we are standing by, largely idly, as this devastation 
  I hope my colleagues will consider voting to overturn the President's 
veto. I hope you will do it because it is the only means by which we 
force a political settlement. I hope you will do it because even if you 
don't think that a political settlement is coming, the United States 
should never willingly be a part of a bombing campaign that results in 
this kind of starvation. I hope you will also do it because even if you 
believe Iran is the No. 1 objective of U.S. interest in the region or 
even if you believe that al-Qaida and ISIS are the No. 1 target of U.S. 
interest in the region, they are getting stronger every single day that 
the status quo continues.
  The military campaign has been a massive failure. The battle lines 
don't move, and al-Qaida and ISIS remain uniquely strong inside that 
country because of the chaos, and Iran, every single day, becomes more 
and more influential. Get out of the military campaign, take the lead 
on the diplomatic effort rather than simply follow others, and we will 
end that misery. It is within our power to send that message.

[[Page S2588]]

  I agree with Senator Van Hollen. This is also about sending a message 
to Saudi Arabia about the continued murder and detainment of American 
citizens and residents. This is about standing up for human rights in 
the face of 37 people convicted and beheaded inside Saudi Arabia, 
several of them minors. But this is also about squaring U.S. policy 
with national security interests and getting the blood off our hands as 
250,000 Yemenis face certain death if we don't do something different 
very soon.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, I really want to thank Senator Murphy 
for his longstanding commitment to this humanitarian need. We are now 
just a Senate vote away from making a major difference in regard to the 
humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and every Member of the Senate will now 
be on record.
  I want Senator Murphy to know that his work has been extremely 
important and is well understood. What he is saying I just really want 
to underscore; that is, the U.S. military engagement with Saudi Arabia 
and its partners is counterproductive, not just to the humanitarian 
crisis that exists today in Yemen but to America's national security 
  The conflict in Yemen has become a humanitarian nightmare. At this 
point our involvement does not advance the interests of the United 
States, our partners, or regional stability.
  I recognize that we have a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia 
and that we have a mutual desire to prevent the expansion of Iranian 
influence and terrorist groups that seek to do us harm. However, our 
current military support to Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict has 
become detrimental to these shared goals and our broader partnership.
  The suffering this conflict has caused is beyond measure. More than 
22 million people, nearly 75 percent of the population, are at grave 
risk. The country has now seen the world's largest cholera outbreak, 
which has killed thousands. Hunger and malnutrition are threatening 2 
million innocent children under the age of 5. A recent Save the 
Children report concluded that some 85,000 children have already died 
from starvation since the war began. Morally continuing our military 
involvement in this disaster simply should not be an option.
  I would also like my colleagues to look beyond our direct support to 
the role U.S. arms sales play in worsening the conflict. These sales 
cannot come at the expense of human rights, mass atrocities, and 
regional destabilization. Saudi Arabia has shown a disregard for 
international law by inflicting devastating losses on civilians, 
including young children.
  It is now well known that the Saudi-led coalition targets civilian 
infrastructure vital to Yemen's recovery and reconstruction. In fact, a 
recent U.N. report concluded that the coalition's air campaign is the 
leading cause of civilian casualties in Yemen, with 61 percent due to 
coalition air strikes. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and 
Bellingcat have found that U.S. weapons have been used in these 
unlawful air strikes. There is evidence that the coalition has used 
banned and inherently indiscriminate weapons like white phosphorus and 
cluster bombs.
  The military conflict has produced staggering human rights abuses. 
The AP, international organizations, and a special expert group 
established by the U.N. Human Rights Council have found that all 
parties in the conflict have committed grave violations of human rights 
and the laws of war. Houthi war crimes and abuses are staggering; 
however, reports indicate our supposed partners have also engaged in 
horrific abuses, including widespread torture and sexual abuse at 
coalition-run secret prisons.
  For all of these reasons, it is imperative that there is a speedy and 
peaceful conclusion to the conflict in Yemen. It is apparent that this 
will not come from our military involvement. We must, instead, focus 
our efforts on supporting U.N.-led efforts to foster dialogue, a 
ceasefire, and humanitarian access.
  It is critical to prevent expansion of the Iranian influence and 
extremist groups in the region, but our military involvement is not 
helping us in that regard. Experts from across the ideological spectrum 
agree that the escalation of the conflict has increased Iran's and 
extremist groups' influence in Yemen. Our military campaign is 
counterproductive to our objective to minimize the influence--and 
hopefully eliminate the influence--of Iran and extremist groups.
  With all of these considerations in mind, Republicans and Democrats 
in the Senate and House of Representatives came together to pass S.J. 
Res. 7. For reasons that are still incomprehensible to me, the 
President chose to veto this resolution. Oxfam recently responded to 
this by stating that ``the people of Yemen and the parties to the 
conflict are watching closely and the messages US leaders send have the 
power to save lives.''
  With a veto, they lose faith in the United States and see the end to 
their suffering a little further out of reach. It is not, however, too 
late for Congress to do the right thing. By overriding this veto we 
assert this body's authority to support peace and human rights while 
making America safer and more secure.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEE. Madam President, over the past few months, the Members of 
this body and the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives 
resoundingly have voted in favor of S.J. Res. 7, which would remove 
U.S. Armed Forces from Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. This 
unconstitutional, unjustified, and ultimately immoral war has 
repeatedly come up over the last year, and thankfully America's elected 
lawmakers in Washington have taken a stand against it.
  The President has vetoed our resolution, but today we have the 
opportunity--and I believe we have the absolute constitutional duty--to 
once again take a stand on this important matter. Today, we have 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. This is in direct 
contrast to the way our old national government--the one in London--
worked. Under that system, the chief executive could take the country 
to war, but not in America, not under our system, not in the U.S. 
Constitution. In fact, it is one of the distinguishing characteristics 
pointed out in Federalist 69.
  As we have already heard, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is dire, 
and estimates show that the crisis is even worse than we had previously 
thought. The Yemen war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of 
people, including a whole lot of innocent civilians in attacks that can 
only be described as horrific. It is believed that from 2016 to 2018, 
over 60,000 combatants and civilians were killed in direct violence 
attached to this war, but the full scale of suffering from starvation, 
poverty, and disease is even more staggering than the stark numbers 
that I have just quoted involving direct combat or direct violence.
  Over half of the population of Yemen is considered currently to be in 
the crisis stage of famine. An estimated 3.3 million children are 
malnourished, and over 84,000 children have died just between the start 
of the war in 2015 and October of 2018. Poor water and sanitation 
conditions have also led to the largest cholera outbreak in history, 
with more than 1.3 million suspected cases and over 2,600 related 
deaths since the April 2017 outbreak.
  Contrary to the claims of some of our critics, the United States has, 
in fact, been aiding and abetting the horrors of this war. Indeed, 
these critics claim that we have somehow not been involved in a war in 
Yemen. But in March of 2015, shortly after Saudi Arabia launched its 
war against the Houthi rebels, the Obama administration authorized U.S. 
military forces to provide ``logistical and intelligence support'' to 
the Saudi coalition. The

[[Page S2589]]

Obama administration provided this authorization without any kind of 
approval from Congress. Since then, we have helped the Saudis with 
surveillance, reconnaissance and information, target selection 
assistance, and, until quite recently, with midair refueling, including 
midair refueling involving combat missions. In other words, we have 
been materially assisting a foreign power in its efforts to bomb its 
adversaries and sometimes helping that foreign power to bomb innocent 
civilians on the ground in the process. Other opponents of our 
resolution claim that our involvement in this undeclared, 
unconstitutional, immoral civil war half a world away in Yemen is 
somehow constitutional, is somehow statutorily authorized under the War 
Powers Act of 1973, which authorizes the executive branch to use Armed 
Forces in cases of emergencies and under certain limited time 
  The conflict in Yemen--a conflict between a regional rebel group on 
the one hand and the Saudi-backed government on the other hand--by no 
means constitutes or in any way presents a threat to the safety of 
American citizens in the United States, and our involvement has far 
surpassed the allotment of any emergency time constraint contemplated 
under the war powers resolution. Still others say that we are not 
engaged in ``hostilities'' that constitute a conflict of war under the 
War Powers Act. But these critics, of course, are relying on an overly 
narrow and outdated definition from a 1976 memorandum--a memorandum, I 
would add, internal to the executive branch. In that respect, it is 
self-serving and one that does not include the indisputably high-tech 
activities of war today.
  The way we fight wars today often ends up involving cyber activity, 
reconnaissance, surveillance, and target selection--the precise 
activities we are engaged in in this war in Yemen. Even aside from 
that, under the War Powers Act, we ourselves do not have to be involved 
in hostilities. We don't have to establish that in order to trigger the 
War Powers 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--those armed forces of another 
nation--are themselves involved in hostilities. There can be no doubt 
in our minds--not in my mind, in your mind, not in the mind of any 
American--that the Saudis are engaged in hostilities in Yemen, and we 
are helping them. So it is immaterial; it is completely inconsequential 
if you accept this crab, self-serving, narrow, outdated definition of 
the word ``hostilities'' found in this 1976 Department of Defense 
  Finally, some opponents of this effort, of this resolution to call 
for our withdrawal from this undeclared, unconstitutional, immoral war 
in Yemen, are saying that removing U.S. forces would somehow hurt our 
efforts to combat terrorism in the region, specifically against al-
Qaida and ISIS, and would endanger the lives of American citizens and 
soldiers. In the first place, these critics are dangerously conflating 
different geopolitical conflicts. The conflict in Yemen is a regional, 
civil war. It is not about al-Qaida. It is not about ISIS. Even if it 
were, our resolution, S.J. Res. 7, the one we are talking about today 
in the context of a veto override debate--that resolution explicitly 
states that it would not impede the military's ability to fight these 
terror groups. Furthermore, there is evidence that our involvement in 
Yemen might well have--in fact, probably has--further destabilized the 
region and that it has actually undermined the effort against al-
Qaida's affiliates. A 2016 State Department report found that the 
conflict between the Saudi-led forces and the Houthi insurgents has 
actually helped al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP, 
and ISIS's Yemen branch to ``deepen their inroads across much of the 

  So, no, involvement in Yemen is far from being in the best interest 
of the United States--not in the slightest, not even by a shred. Every 
day it only becomes clearer and clearer that Saudi Arabia is not an 
ally that deserves our unwavering, unflinching, unquestioning support 
and military intervention, especially when our own security--the 
security of the American people on U.S. soil--is not on the line.
  Last October, there was of course the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. In 
February, a report came out suggesting that the United Arab Emirates 
have actually transferred American-made weapons to al-Qaida-linked 
fighters and other military groups. In other words, the Saudi-led 
coalition is possibly giving our own weapons, in violation of our own 
end user agreements with them, to the very terrorist groups we are 
trying to fight, the very terrorist groups that opponents of this 
resolution incorrectly suggest would benefit from the passage of this 
  Just this past week, news surfaced that the Saudis ruthlessly 
beheaded 37 men who were mainly minority Shia Muslims, 5 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 and that has 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 I, section 8 of the Constitution unequivocally states that 
Congress shall have the power to declare war--Congress, not the 
President, not the Pentagon, not someone else in the executive branch, 
not some expert anywhere in the executive branch of government, but 
Congress. They did so. They made it this way because they understood 
that the decision about whether to go to war is a decision fraught with 
immense moral peril. There is nothing pretty about war. It always, when 
we face such a decision, involves a decision to put American treasure 
and American blood on the line. Even if you think that with modern-day 
weaponry and/or the modern way in which we fight wars--if you think 
that American blood and treasure is not being put on the line, that 
simply isn't true. That is exactly why the Founding Fathers placed this 
power in the legislative branch where it can be exercised squarely in 
front of the American people by their elected Representatives. This 
power was always intended to be exercised only by the branch of 
government most accountable to the people at the most regular intervals 
because of the moral peril necessarily involved in any decision to go 
to war--moral peril involving the use of U.S. resources, the putting on 
the line of American blood, and also the moral peril that it creates 
wherever we are going to war.
  If you truly believe that our involvement in Yemen is crucial to the 
safety of American citizens and America's best interests generally, 
that is all the more reason to debate it and discuss it right here, 
right now. In fact, the Constitution demands it. It already is the law. 
We have to do this. If you are so confident that we should be involved 
in this war, let's debate it. Let's vote on it. Let's let the American 
people see what we are about. Let's let the American people have some 
say in the extent to which we put America's good name, its treasure, 
and its blood on the line.
  Today, we still have an opportunity to have a say, to take a stand 
over this most grave matter. I urge my colleagues to take it.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, let me thank Senator Lee and Senator 
Chris Murphy for their outstanding and consistent leadership on this 
issue. At a time when the country bemoans the fact that there is not a 
lot of bipartisanship, this effort indicates that people with very 
different political philosophies can come together on an issue of 
enormous magnitude. I do want to thank Mike Lee for his great work on 
  I rise today to speak in support of overriding the President's veto 
of S.J. Res. 7. On April 16, despite telling us that he is opposed to 
``endless wars,'' President Trump used the second veto of his 
Presidency to reject S.J. Res. 7, which directs the removal of U.S. 
Armed Forces from the Saudi-led intervention in the Republic of Yemen, 
a war that began 4 years ago. The vote on that resolution that was 
passed here in the Senate was 54 to 46--all Democrats voting for it and 
7 Republicans

[[Page S2590]]

voting for it. The resolution passed the House on April 4 by a 
bipartisan vote of 247 to 175.
  The current situation in Yemen is the worst humanitarian disaster on 
Earth. In March of 2015, under the leadership of Muhammad bin Salman--
then Saudi Arabian Defense Minister and now the Crown Prince--a Saudi-
led intervention in Yemen's ongoing civil war took place.
  According to the United Nations, Yemen is at risk of the most severe 
famine in more than 100 years, with some 14 million people--this is a 
small, poor country--some 14 million people now face starvation as a 
result of this war, this Saudi-led intervention we are supporting.
  According to the Save the Children organization, some 85,000 children 
have already starved to death, and millions more face death if the war 
  It gets much worse than that. A new United Nations-commissioned 
report, just published by the University of Denver, states that the 
impact of this war on civilians--particularly children--is actually far 
more serious than previously thought. If this war continues, the report 
estimates that by the end of 2019, it will have taken the lives of some 
219,000 people in Yemen, including 140,000 children under the age of 5. 
According to this report, every 12 minutes, a Yemeni child is dying as 
a result of this war.
  The magnitude of the suffering in that country is literally 
unimaginable. We are talking about the possibility of millions of 
people starving to death and of hundreds of thousands of people dying 
by the end of this year.
  The fact is that the United States, with relatively little media 
attention, has been Saudi Arabia's partner in this horrific war. We 
have been providing the bombs the Saudi-led coalition is using. We have 
been refueling their planes before they drop those bombs. We have been 
assisting with intelligence. In many cases, our weapons are being used 
to kill women and children.
  Late last year, I met with several brave Yemeni human rights 
activists. They had come to urge Congress to put a stop to this war, 
and they told me clearly that when Yemenis see ``Made in the U.S.A.'' 
on the bombs that are killing them, it tells them that the U.S.A. is 
responsible for this war, and that is a sad and tragic truth.
  The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a 
catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and 
irresponsible foreign policy.
  Issue No. 1 is the horrific tragedy we are contributing to in Yemen.
  Issue No. 2 is equally important, and that is that the involvement of 
the United States in this war is clearly unconstitutional.
  I hear many of my Republican friends claim they are strict 
constitutionalists. If you are a strict constitutionalist, voting to 
override Trump's veto should be a no-brainer because this war has not 
been authorized by Congress. It is unconstitutional.
  Let me remind my colleagues who may have forgotten what is in the 
U.S. Constitution. Article I, section 8 states clearly that ``Congress 
shall have power to . . . declare war.'' While the President has the 
authority over the conduct of war once it has been declared, the 
Founding Fathers gave the power to authorize military conflicts to 
Congress--the branch most accountable to the people. Under the War 
Powers Act of 1973, the assignment of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces 
to ``command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or 
accompany'' another country's military during a war constitutes the 
introduction of the United States into a conflict. Our military 
involvement in the war in Yemen, which has included logistical and 
intelligence support, as well as aerial refueling of Saudi war planes, 
clearly meets this definition.
  For far too long, the Congress, under both Democratic and Republican 
administrations, has abdicated its constitutional role with regard to 
the authorization of war. The historic passage of this resolution--the 
first time since the 1973 War Powers Resolution was passed that it has 
been successfully used to withdraw the United States from an 
unauthorized war--was a long-overdue step by Congress to reassert its 
constitutional authority.
  Finally, after years of abdicating that responsibility, Congress 
stood up, in the Senate and in the House, and said: Mr. President, you 
do not have the power to get U.S. troops involved in a war that we did 
not vote upon. And that is a big deal. Congress is finally doing what 
the Constitution of the United States mandates that it do. Within a 
half hour or so, the Senate must act to protect that constitutional 
responsibility by overriding the President's veto.
  I respect that there are Members of this body who voted against the 
initial resolution and that you support U.S. intervention in Yemen for 
one of a number of reasons, and I respect your point of view, but if 
you think the United States should be involved in the Saudi-led war in 
Yemen, bring that resolution to the floor of the Senate. Let's have 
that debate. You explain to the American people why we should be 
spending significant amounts of money and putting American military 
lives in danger and why you think it is a good idea. Come to the 
floor--that is what the Constitution says you should do--and let us 
vote that issue up or down. Maybe you win. Maybe you won't win. I think 
you won't win, but maybe you will. But let's have that debate. What is 
absolutely clear is that is the responsibility of the Senate and the 
House, and the President alone cannot decide when he wants to send 
American troops into conflict.
  The last point I want to make is that this vote this afternoon must 
make clear to Saudi Arabia that we will not continue to follow their 
lead into disastrous military interventions. Let us be very clear. 
Saudi Arabia is a despotic dictatorship that works overtime to prevent 
any movement in that country toward democracy. That is a country run by 
an incredibly wealthy family. I think Muhammad bin Salman has the 
distinction of owning both the largest yacht and the largest house in 
the world. They have endless wealth, and now they are using their 
wealth and power in a dangerous and irresponsible military 
  Saudi Arabia is a nation that treats women not as second-class 
citizens but as third-class citizens. It is a nation that 7 months ago 
murdered a journalist in cold blood in its own consulate in Turkey and 
then dismembered his body. That was the signal to any dissident in 
Saudi Arabia that if you dare speak out against the royal family, that 
is what you have to look forward to--getting killed in cold blood and 
having your body dismembered. Dozens of people were recently executed 
in Saudi Arabia because of their opposition to government policy.
  The word has to get out to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia that, no, 
we will not be following their lead and their interventions in wars 
that are only causing horrific pain in that region.
  In my view, what we should be doing in Yemen now is ending the 
bombing, supporting a diplomatic solution to the civil war there that 
finally brings peace to that region, providing immediate humanitarian 
aid, and helping the people, along with the international community, to 
rebuild their shattered economy, which is dysfunctional today.
  This is an important vote. It is an important vote that says the 
people of Yemen need humanitarian aid, not more bombs. It is a vote 
that says the Senate believes in the Constitution of this country, 
which says that it is Congress, not the President, that determines 
whether and when we go to war. It is a vote that tells Saudi Arabia we 
will not follow their lead in irresponsible intervention.
  I hope very much that the Members of this body summon up their 
courage and vote to override Trump's veto.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Young). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I rise to cast my vote in support of the 
resolution we will shortly be voting on, which sends an important 
message that this body, directly representing the

[[Page S2591]]

American people, wishes to end direct U.S. military support for the 
Saudi-led coalition's campaign in Yemen.
  I am disappointed but not surprised that the President issued a veto, 
choosing to stand by a campaign of devastating consequences for the 
people of Yemen. Every time we have a vote on this resolution and every 
day, the numbers get worse, but let us be clear. These numbers are 
people: 3 million human beings have been forced to flee, more than 15 
million are on the brink of starvation, and more than 1 million 
individuals--children, mothers, fathers--are suffering from the largest 
cholera epidemic in the world.
  Even the coalition countries themselves insist there is no military 
solution to this manmade conflict. As Houthis, backed with 
destabilizing and increasing support from Iran, continue to launch 
attacks into civilian population centers, Saudi Arabia and the United 
Arab Emirates continue their campaign which has targeted hospitals and 
threatened humanitarian access.
  The fragile U.N.-brokered political process that emerged from 
Stockholm is almost at a breaking point. To be sure, the Houthis slow-
walking the implementation of this plan presents a serious challenge, 
but U.S. focus should now be on supporting a meaningful, inclusive, and 
comprehensive process, even if it is one step at a time--a process that 
must start by ensuring that vital humanitarian relief reaches those who 
need it most desperately.
  As some of my colleagues and the President have repeated, we do 
indeed have important security and military partnerships with the 
countries comprising the coalition, but these partnerships are not a 
blank check for weapons and direct support for a campaign that is 
decidedly working against U.S. interests in the region.
  In addition to the truly horrific attacks on civilians, we have 
credible, alarming reports that our partners are transferring U.S. 
weapons to nonstate actors who have worked directly against the United 
States. Moreover, the length and brutality of this campaign have 
allowed Iran to exploit a vacuum and increase its influence and 
presence in the gulf.
  This resolution sends an important message, but much work remains to 
be done.
  I have a bipartisan bill that would authorize serious policy 
regarding U.S. weapons sales, that would hold accountable those 
blocking humanitarian aid, and help set the stage for supporting a 
meaningful political process.
  As I have said before, we should consider this resolution just as one 
step, but one that must be taken, one that the Congress has shown it 
  While the President has made his decision clear, the Congress must 
continue to assert our independence and continue to act where he will 
  Finally, let me also repeat what I said this morning at the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee business meeting--the Executive has a 
responsibility to share with us critical information that is directly 
relevant to the work of the committee.
  Last month, I discovered intelligence directly related to a topic 
that the administration had regularly briefed the committee about but 
completely omitted. Without going into the details, I called the 
administration to provide committee members with more information. I 
believe the full Senate should have this information, which is relevant 
to votes we have taken, and I will be asking the majority and minority 
leaders to convene an all-Senators briefing on this topic. I think they 
should know before they cast votes.
  I yield the floor.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today in support of overriding 
President Trump's veto of the Sanders-Murphy resolution.
  The resolution would end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, which 
I believe is long overdue.
  Saudi Arabia's conduct in the war in Yemen has been deplorable.
  It has purposefully attacked civilian infrastructure, including 
electricity generation facilities, water sanitation plants and, medical 
facilities. They have employed cluster munitions in civilian areas and 
used disproportionate force to attack military targets. In one attack, 
the coalition killed more than 40 children on a school bus, claiming to 
this day that the bus was a legitimate military target.
  While I am pleased that the United States is no longer refueling 
coalition aircraft, I support ending all U.S. assistance for the Saudi-
led coalition before thousands more die. To date, more than 63,000 
people have been killed as a direct result of the conflict. If the 
conflict continues, an estimated 22,000 more people will be killed this 
year. That is only direct combat deaths, which is highly misleading. 
The ongoing war, with U.S. support, has indirectly killed far more, 
with Yemen's children bearing the brunt of the suffering. Since 2014, 
more than 85,000 children have died of starvation. That is worth 
repeating: More than 85,000 children have starved to death in the last 
4 years in Yemen.
  By the end of 2019, the total number of people in Yemen who will die 
from a lack of food, health services, and infrastructure is expected to 
top 131,000. Sixty percent of those killed will be children under the 
age of 5. In fact, a child in Yemen will die every 12 minutes unless we 
end this war.
  The Saudi coalition's purposeful destruction of Yemen's civilian 
infrastructure, targeting of medical facilities and withholding of aid 
has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis: 14 million people 
require emergency food aid. A majority of Yemen's population does not 
have access to clean water, sanitation, or adequate public healthcare. 
Cholera and other diseases are rampant throughout Yemen as public 
services have collapsed. There have been 1.2 million suspected cases of 
cholera, resulting in 2,500 fatalities from this entirely preventable 
disease. Nearly three-quarters of the population--almost 22 million 
people--need some form of humanitarian assistance.
  Sadly, the actions of the Trump administration have worsened the 
humanitarian harm. Through the President's ``Muslim ban,'' the 
administration has effectively trapped civilians in Yemen, sealing 
their fate.
  The Trump administration has not accepted a single refugee from Yemen 
since October 2017. It has banned permanent immigration from Yemen, 
including immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and it has stopped 
issuing temporary visas. The Trump administration has even refused to 
redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Yemen, making more than a 
thousand protected Yemenis subject to deportation.
  The United States can help end the suffering in Yemen by halting all 
assistance to the Saudi-led coalition. It could also accept Yemeni 
refugees, resume normal immigration and extend TPS to Yemenis currently 
in the United States. The Trump administration has callously decided to 
do nothing.
  The Sanders-Murphy resolution would direct the President to end all 
U.S. support for the war in Yemen. Given the horrific consequences of 
the conflict, I strongly supported the resolution when it passed the 
Senate on March 13, 2019.
  I am disappointed but not surprised by the President's veto of it. 
The President's apparent plan is to continue to support the Saudi 
coalition even though it is clear that there is no military solution to 
this conflict. That is unacceptable.
  Unfortunately, the President's unconditional support for Saudi Arabia 
is not limited to its conduct in Yemen. Under the direction of Crown 
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia murdered, dismembered, and 
disposed of the remains of a U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi. To this 
day, the Saudi Government continues to blame ``rogue agents'' for this 
heinous murder. They are holding a secret trial for the so-called 
accused, refusing to cooperate with international investigations, and 
continuing to rely on the Trump administration to shield it from 
  Any nation that would murder a journalist inside its own diplomatic 
facility is no friend of the United States. Any leader who would direct 
another human being to be dismembered with a bone saw is not fit to 
  Let's be clear: Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Khashoggi's 
murder. He is not fit to lead the kingdom and must be held accountable 
for this crime.
  Saudi Arabia has also arrested, tortured and prosecuted peaceful 
political activists, including women. It has kidnapped and forcefully 

[[Page S2592]]

Saudi nationals, executed religious minorities, and even illegally 
detained U.S. citizens.
  The vote before us today would send a clear message to Saudi Arabia 
that we do not support its heinous policy and actions.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in sending that message.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, today we begin to consider S.J. Res. 7, 
which is a joint resolution that directs--and I quote from the 
resolution--``removal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen.''
  This is the second time, of course, that we have considered this. We 
passed it, the House passed it, and the President has vetoed it, and it 
is now in front of us, under our constitutional responsibilities, to 
consider whether the resolution becomes law, notwithstanding the 
President's signature.
  I am going to urge a ``no'' vote on this, that it does not become 
law, and we sustain the veto the President has made.
  As I have stated before, the premise of this resolution is 
fundamentally flawed and I believe a mischaracterization of the actual 
facts on the ground today in Yemen.
  I want to start basically by, once again, making it absolutely clear 
what is and, more importantly, what is not happening with respect to 
U.S. engagement in Yemen.
  What isn't happening is the injection of U.S. troops into active 
hostilities in the Yemen civil war. To put it simply, our troops are 
not cobelligerents in this conflict.
  What we are doing, however, is providing limited noncombat support to 
the Saudi-led coalition, including intelligence sharing and practices 
that have been developed to minimize civilian casualties--I am sure a 
goal everybody in this body supports.
  This support is very narrow in focus, it is advisory in nature, and 
helps defend the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, 
which both face a very real threat from the Iranian-backed Houthis and 
from Iran itself. Our limited support is intended to prevent the 
conflict in Yemen from escalating.
  Iran's support for the Houthis, notably the transfer of missiles and 
other weaponry, threatens to undermine our partners' territorial 
integrity, imperils key shipping routes, and puts U.S. interests at 
risk, including thousands of U.S. personnel and citizens currently 
within range of the Iranian-made missile systems under Houthi control. 
This, of course, includes the airport in Saudi Arabia, which many 
Members of this body have used from time to time when they go to codels 
in Saudi Arabia.
  Many of us have been, for a long time, proponents of resolving the 
war in Yemen, and it could be resolved if the Iran regime will simply 
turn their back and walk away. Unfortunately, that is not likely. When 
I say many of us have been longtime proponents, I would certainly 
include the Presiding Officer in that and commend him for his long and 
hard work in that regard. He has been dedicated to this for a long time 
and has been a leader on this, for which he is to be commended.
  Like many of us here today, I am dissatisfied with the state of the 
U.S.-Saudi relationship. Indeed, while Saudi Arabia has long been a 
bulwark of our Middle East policy, there is a growing gap in U.S.-Saudi 
  Frankly, aspects of Saudi Arabia's behavior are cause for serious 
concern. We are taking a comprehensive look at our relationship with 
Saudi Arabia on the Foreign Relations Committee, and it is common 
knowledge that there are a number of pieces of legislation floating 
around here--some of which have been introduced and that are 
circulating--that address this issue. We are attempting to craft 
legislation that can garner support in the committee, address concerns 
on both sides of the aisle, and actually become law.
  I look forward to examining our interests in a measured and 
responsible way that will put the relationship on the right trajectory. 
This is not an easy needle to thread. All of us have concerns, all of 
us have specific issues in that regard, and what is important is that 
we don't just poke at this but that we actually develop legislation 
that is bipartisan and that can be signed by the President and will 
become law.
  The debate today, however, is predicated on the notion that this 
resolution will punish the Saudis and stop the devastating humanitarian 
crisis in Yemen. It will do neither of those. In fact, the DOD has 
assessed that this legislation would have no impact on the limited 
support we are currently providing today.
  That said, there can be no arguing that after years of conflict, 
Yemen is now in the grip of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and 
that is in spite of the fact that many Members of this body--including 
the Presiding Officer--have gone way past limits to attempt to try to 
do things that would help that humanitarian crisis.
  Just the simple delivery of humanitarian matters such as food in the 
country have been frustrated by things that logistically should be very 
easy but haven't been. I know the Presiding Officer has been very 
active in that regard and has been successful in that regard, for which 
he should be commended. An estimated 24 million--80 percent--of the 
Yemeni population are in need of assistance, and 15.9 million people--
more than half of the country's population--remains severely food 
  A solution to this conflict must be found. Make no mistake, many, 
indeed, most of us, are committed to doing everything in our power to 
restore peace in a country that has been ravished by years of proxy war 
and fractious infighting.
  I believe it is axiomatic that lasting peace can only be achieved 
through a political settlement brokered by the U.N. The U.N.-led peace 
talks are our best bet for achieving peace in Yemen, and they appear to 
be at a critical juncture right now as we sit here today.
  As this body considers ways to drive effective U.S. policy that helps 
end the war and relieves humanitarian suffering in Yemen, I would urge 
all parties to abide by the agreement reached last December in 
Stockholm and find a political solution to the conflict. We should 
remain committed to doing everything in our power to advance this 

  Thank you.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Shall the bill (S.J. Res. 7) 
pass, the objections of the President of the United States to the 
contrary notwithstanding?
  The yeas and nays are required under the Constitution.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Florida (Mr. Rubio).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Florida (Mr. Rubio) 
would have voted ``nay.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Colorado (Mr. Bennet) is 
necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 53, nays 45, as follows:
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 94 Leg.]


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen



[[Page S2593]]

     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 53, the nays are 
  Two-thirds of the Senators being duly chosen and sworn not having 
voted in the affirmative, the joint resolution on reconsideration fails 
to pass over the President's veto.
  The majority leader.