Sanders, Lee, Murphy

McConnell (for Crapo) Amendment #2151, as modified, to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155)

Senator Sanders: (4:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on war powers.
    • "The Founding Fathers gave the power to declare war to Congress, the branch most accountable to the people. For far too long Congress, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, has, in my view, abdicated its constitutional role in authorizing war, and we are moving down a very, very slippery slope where congress is now becoming increasingly irrelevant in terms of that vitally important issue. And in my view, the time is long overdue for Congress to reassert its constitutional authority. And that is why Senators Lee, Senator Murphy, and I, that is what we are doing with Senate Joint Resolution 54. And I'm proud to have as cosponsors on that resolution Senator Durbin, Senator Booker, Senator Warren, Senator Leahy, Senator Markey, Senator Feinstein, and Senator Wyden."


Senator Lee: (4:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on war powers.
    • "And believe it or not, at the end of the day, according to at least one U.S. Government report, it is arguably undermined our fight against terrorist threats such as ISIS rather than advancing those efforts. I'll expand on those facts in a few minutes but for now let's focus on this, our military involvement in Yemen has not been authorized by the United States Congress. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution is pretty clear on this point. It says that Congress shall have the power to declare war. Congress, not the president, not the Pentagon. But congress. This is the branch of government most accountable to the people at the most regular intervals. And it makes sense that this power would only be granted to that branch of government."


Senator Murphy: (4:21 p.m.)

  • Spoke on war powers.
    • "I have brought this chart down to the floor before, and I picture up to the floor before, and I hesitate to keep it up for more than a few moments. It's very, very disturbing to look at, but this is the reality of Yemen today. This is the reality of a country in which thousands and thousands of civilians have been killed by a bombing campaign that the United States is facilitating, facilitating with intelligence sharing, facilitating with targeting assistance, facilitating with midair refueling, facilitating with the sale of munitions that end up being dropped on the homes of families like this. This is, as has been stated, perhaps the worst cholera outbreak in modern history. And let's talk about why that happens."