Opposed Monroe Doctrine interventionism in Latin America
Q: Please explain what is the difference between the socialism that you profess and the socialism in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.
SANDERS: The US was wrong to try to invade Cuba; the US was wrong trying to support people to overthrow the Nicaraguan
government; the US was wrong trying to overthrow, in 1954, the democratically elected government of Guatemala. Throughout the history of our relationship with Latin America we've operated under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, and that said the US had the
right do anything that they wanted to do in Latin America. So I actually went to Nicaragua and I very shortly opposed the Reagan administration's efforts to overthrow that government. And I strongly opposed Henry Kissinger and the overthrow of the
government of Salvador Allende in Chile. I think the US should be working with governments around the world, not get involved in regime change. And all of these actions in Latin America brought forth a lot of very strong anti-American sentiments.
CLINTON: I told the president that I hoped he would be able to move toward diplomatic relations with Cuba. And there are no better ambassadors for freedom, democracy and economic opportunity than Cuban Americans. I'm looking
forward to following the president's trip. I think meeting with dissidents is important. The Cuban people deserve be able to move towards democracy where they pick their own leads. Both Castros have to be considered authoritarian and dictatorial because
they are not freely chosen by the people. I hope someday there will be leaders who are chosen by the Cuban people.
SANDERS: I think we have got to end the embargo. I believe that we should move towards full and normalized political relations with Cuba.
I think it will be a good thing for the Cuban people. It will enable them, I think when they see people coming into their country from the United States, move in a more democratic direction, which is what I want to see.
Vulture capitalists responsible for Puerto Rican debt
Q: Will you help Puerto Rico restructure its debt in 1st 100 days?
CLINTON: Absolutely. I have been calling for months that the Congress must give authority to Puerto Rico to restructure its debts. Just like it has enabled states and cities to
restructure their debt. It's a grave injustice for the Congress to refuse to enact that opportunity within the bankruptcy law. They deserve to be treated as citizens and to be given the opportunity to get back on their feet economically.
SANDERS: When you get to Puerto Rico, there's an issue that we have not talked about. That island is $73 billion in debt and the government is paying interest rates of up to 11 percent. Mmany of the bonds they are paying off were purchased by vulture
capitalists for 30 cents on the dollar. What I have said in talking to the leaders of Puerto Rico, we've got to bring people together. Some of these vulture capitalists are going to have to lose money in this process.
America stands for hope; we should take Syrian refugees
CLINTON: This is a humanitarian catastrophe. The US has to support our allies in Europe. We have to provide financial support. We have to provide the NATO support to back up the mission that is going on. And we have to take properly vetted refugees
SANDERS: I went to a Turkish refugee camp on the border of Syria. What a sad sight: Men, women, children forced out of their homes. Turkey did a decent thing, providing reasonable housing and conditions for people.
Given our history as a nation that has been a beacon of hope for the oppressed, for the downtrodden, that I very strongly disagree with those Republican candidates who say we've got to turn our backs on women and children who left their home with
nothing. That is not what America is supposed to be about. I think that the entire world needs to come together to deal with this horrific refugee crisis.
Won't take advice from Henry Kissinger; he assisted genocide
SANDERS: Where the secretary and I have a profound difference, in the last debate, she talked about getting the approval of Henry Kissinger. Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in modern history.
I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger. Kissinger's actions in Cambodia created the instability for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some 3 million innocent people, one of the worst genocides in the world.
CLINTON: With respect to China, one of the most challenging relationships we have, Kissinger's ongoing relationships with the leaders of China is an incredibly useful relationship for the United States.
SANDERS: Kissinger was one of
those people during the Vietnam era who talked about the threat of China. After the war, he opened up relations with China, and pushed trade agreements, resulting in American workers losing their jobs as corporations moved to China.
Russia's aggressive actions in the Crimea and Ukraine have brought about a situation where President Obama and NATO--correctly, I believe--are saying we're going to beef up our troop level in that part of the world to tell
Putin that his aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched. We have to work with NATO to protect Eastern Europe against any kind of Russian aggression.
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin
, Feb 11, 2016
Key doctrine: We can't do it alone; must work in coalition
Q: You have not proactively laid out a foreign policy doctrine yet. Why?
SANDERS: I did give a speech at Georgetown where I talked about democratic socialism and foreign policy. Maybe I shouldn't have combined the two in the same speech. While it is
true that the secretary and I voted differently on the war in Iraq, what is important is that we learn the lesson of the war in Iraq. And that lesson is intrinsic to my foreign policy if elected president, is the United States cannot do it alone.
We cannot be the policeman of the world. We are now spending more I believe than the next eight countries on defense. We have got to work in strong coalition with the major powers of the world and with those Muslim countries that are prepared to stand up
and take on terrorism. So I would say that the key doctrine of the Sanders administration would be no, we cannot continue to do it alone; we need to work in coalition.
North Korea is run by nuclear-armed paranoid dictator
North Korea is an isolated country run by a handful of dictators, or maybe just one, who seems to be somewhat paranoid. And, who had nuclear weapons. Our goal there is to work and lean strongly on China to put pressure.
China is one of the few major countries in the world that has significant support for North Korea, and we got to do everything we can to put pressure on China. I worry about an isolated, paranoid country with atomic bombs.
Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire
, Feb 4, 2016
I worry about Putin in Crimea but worry more about N. Korea
Q: Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said Russia is the most important national security threat. Do you agree?
SANDERS: No I don't. I worry about Putin and his military adventurism in the Crimea, but
I worry more about an isolated country. Russia lives in the world. China lives in the world. North Korea is a strange country because it is so isolated, and I do feel that a nation with nuclear weapons, they have got to be dealt with.
Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire
, Feb 4, 2016
Lean on China to deal with North Korea
Q: North Korea claims to have exploded another nuclear bomb, perhaps a hydrogen bomb. If you were in the Oval Office, what would you do about it?
SANDERS: First of all, we're going to have to lean on China. China is North Korea's closest ally.
They're gonna have to push North Korea to start adhering to international agreements.
Q: How do we lean on China?
SANDERS: We have a relationship with China. China is equally concerned about what North Korea is doing. North Korea is a paranoid, isolated nation.
When you have a hydrogen bomb, if that's true, you're a threat to China as well.
Q [to Clinton]: What about Putin's actions involving Russia in Syria [bombing ISIS to defend President Assad]?
CLINTON: We have an opportunity here--and inside the administration this is being hotly debated--to get that leverage to try to get the
Russians to have to deal with everybody in the region and begin to move toward a political, diplomatic solution in Syria.
Q [to Sanders]: Putin in Syria?
SANDERS: I think Mr. Putin is going to regret what he is doing.
Q: He doesn't seem to be the
type of guy to regret a lot.
SANDERS: I think he's already regretting what he did in Crimea and what he is doing in the Ukraine. I think he is really regretting the decline of his economy. And I think what he is trying to do now is save some face.
But I think when Russians get killed in Syria and when he gets bogged down, I think the Russian people are going to give him a message that maybe they should come home, maybe they should start working with the United States to rectify the situation now.
Normalize relations with Cuba; & respect their independence
Bernie believes improving diplomatic relations with Cuba is essential to promoting democratic values in the region and strengthening our economic and cultural ties with its people.
Bernie supports normalizing relations between the two nations and
removing the economic embargo, which he argues is costing American businesses billions of dollars. In February 2014, Bernie shared his hope that "Cuba moves toward a more democratic society while, at the same time, the United States will respect the
independence of the Cuban people." He was part of a U.S. delegation that traveled to Cuba in 2014 to discuss trade, healthcare, and human rights issues in Havana.
Later in 2014, Bernie applauded President Obama's announcements on discussions with Cuba,
and in January 2015, he sponsored the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which aimed to address the administration's proposal to loosen restrictions on travel to Cuba and remove restrictions on travel-related banking transactions.
Begrudgingly supports NATO, but no eastward expansion
Although Bernie is generally anti-war, he begrudgingly supported NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999. He voiced concerns, but did not vigorously oppose NATO's 2011 military intervention in Libya.
Bernie is against the expansion of NATO because it provokes
unnecessary aggression from Russia. Moreover, he believes European nations should fund more of the costs of an alliance primarily intended to protect their continent.
Q: What is Bernie's opinion on NATO expansion?
A: He's against it, claiming it is a
waste of taxpayer dollars and not geo-politically sound. In 1997, Bernie said: "After four decades of the cold war and trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated to compete in the arms race, it is not the time to continue wasting billions helping to defend
Europe, let alone assuming any costs associated with expanding NATO eastward." Bernie opposes eastward expansion because he's not interested in revisiting the Cold War era when Russia and the US were constantly pitted against each other.
Promote democracy in China, but not at expense of US workers
Q: What about a China trade deal?
A: I want to see the people in China live in a democratic society with a higher standard of living. I want to see that, but I don't think that has to take place at the expense of the American worker. I don't think
decent-paying jobs in this country have got to be lost as companies shut down here and move to China. I want to see the Chinese people do well, but I do not want to see the collapse of the American middle class take place, and I will fight against that.
US should be more selective about using drone strikes
Q: Would you do away with the drone program? You didn't vote for CIA director John Brennan because of the drone program and how it was run.
SANDERS: I think you can argue that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective, and there are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems when they have solved.
When you kill innocent people, the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been.
So, I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.
War is a local issue because local youngsters fight and die
Burlington had a foreign policy because, as progressives, we understood that we all live in one world. We understood that just as actions taken outside of our city affected us, we could have an impact on national and international developments.
If children in Nicaragua were suffering because of US policy, it was our responsibility to try to change that policy. If children in the US were going hungry because the federal government was spending more than was necessary on the military, we also
had a responsibility to work on changing that.
As the mayor of Burlington, and someone committed to grassroots democracy, I saw no magic line separating local, state, national, and international issues. How could issues of war and
peace not be a local issue? It is local youngsters who fight and die in wars. Ultimately, if we're going to revitalize democracy in this country, local government will have to assume a much stronger and more expansive role.
Need to look at consequences of removing dictators
CLINTON: Senator Sanders voted in 1998 on what I think is fair to call a regime change resolution with respect to Iraq, calling for the end of Saddam Hussein's regime. He voted in favor of regime change with Libya, voted in favor of the Security Council
being an active participate in setting the parameters for what we would do, which of course we followed through on.
SANDERS: Where Secretary Clinton and I disagree is the area of regime change. We can overthrow dictators all over the world.
The point about foreign policy is not just to overthrow a dictator, it's to understand what happens the day after. In Libya, Secretary Clinton, as secretary of state, working with some other countries, did get rid of a terrible dictator named Gadhafi.
But what happened is ISIS came in and now occupies significant territory in Libya. But this is nothing new. This has gone on 50 or 60 years where the United States has been involved in overthrowing governments.
CLINTON: I think we have achieved a great deal with the Iranian nuclear agreement. That has to be enforced absolutely with consequences for Iran at the slightest deviation from their requirements under the agreement. I do not think we should promise or
even look toward normalizing relations because we have a lot of other business to get done with Iran. Yes, they have to stop being the main state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, they have to stop trying to destabilize the Middle East, causing even more chaos.
SANDERS: I recall when Secretary Clinton ran against then-Senator Obama, she was critical of him for suggesting that maybe you want to talk to Iran, that you want to talk to our enemies.
Iran is sponsoring terrorism in many parts of the world, destabilizing areas. Everybody knows that. But our goal is to try to deal with our enemies, not just ignore that reality.
Encourage Saudis and Iran to work together, despite distrust
CLINTON: A group of national security experts issued a concerning statement about Senator Sanders's views on foreign policy and national security, pointing out some of the comments he has made on these issues, such as inviting Iranian troops into
Syria to try to resolve the conflict there; putting them right at the doorstep of Israel. Asking Saudi Arabia and Iran to work together, when they can't stand each other and are engaged in a proxy battle right at this moment.
You are voting for a president and a commander in chief.
SANDERS: I concede that Secretary Clinton, who was secretary of State for four years, has more experience in foreign affairs. But experience is not the only point, judgment is. In terms of Iran
and in terms of Saudi Arabia, of course they hate each other. That's no great secret. But John Kerry, who is I think doing a very good job, has tried to at least get these people in the room together because both of them are being threatened by ISIS.
Move forward with Iran with relations the long-term goal
Q [to Clinton]: Sen. Sanders called for moving as aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran. You've criticized him for that. Can you explain?
CLINTON: Absolutely. We have to figure out how to deal with Iran as the principal state sponsor
of terrorism in the world. They are destabilizing governments in the region. They continue to support Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon against Israel. If we were to normalize relations right now, we would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage we
have to try to influence and change Iranian behaviour. The president doesn't think we should. I certainly don't think we should. I believe we have to take this step by step to try to reign in Iranian aggression.
SANDERS: I never said that. I think we
should move forward as quickly as we can. They are a sponsor of terrorism around the world and we have to address that. A number of years ago, people were saying, "normal relationship with Cuba, what a bad and silly idea." Well, change has come.
Normalize relations with Iran even though we disagree
Q: The nuclear deal with Iran is now in force. Iran is getting its billions of dollars; several Americans who have been held are now going to be heading home. Should we open an embassy in Tehran?
SANDERS: I think what we've got to do is move as
aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran. Understanding that Iran's behavior in so many ways is something that we disagree with: their support of terrorism; the anti-American rhetoric that we're hearing from of their leadership is
something that is not acceptable. On the other hand, the fact that we've managed to reach an agreement, that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we did that without going to war. So if your question is, do I want to see that
relationship become more positive in the future? Yes. Can I tell that we should open an embassy in Tehran tomorrow? No, I don't think we should. But I think the goal has got to be to warm relations with a very powerful and important country.
Think about what happens AFTER we get rid of dictators
CLINTON: [In Syria, we should work with Russia to] turn their military attention away from going after the adversaries of Assad, & put the Assad future on the political & diplomatic track.
SANDERS: I have a difference of opinion with Secretary Clinton
on this. I worry that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gadhafi, a
terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. Getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you've got to think about
what happens the day after. We need to put together broad coalitions to [avoid having a] political vacuum filled by terrorists. In Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and [it's a] secondary issue to get rid of Assad.
Hillary CLINTON: The reason we are in the mess we're in, that ISIS has the territory it has, is because of Assad. We now finally have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS. We finally have a U.N. Security Council Resolution bringing the world
together to go after a political transition in Syria. If the United States does not lead, there is not another leader. There is a vacuum. And we have to lead, if we're going to be successful.
SANDERS: Of course the United States must lead.
But the US is not the policeman of the world. The US must not be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. The United States, at the same time, cannot successfully fight Assad and ISIS. ISIS, now, is the major priority.
Let's get rid of Assad later. Let's have a Democratic Syria. But the first task is to bring countries together to destroy ISIS.
I do not believe in unilateral action against terrorism
Our goal is to crush and destroy ISIS. I voted against the war in Iraq because I thought unilateral military action would not produce the results that were necessary and would lead to the kind of unraveling and instability that we saw in the Middle East.
I do not believe in unilateral American action. I believe in action in which we put together a strong coalition of forces, major powers and the Muslim nations. One of the heroes in the Middle East is King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.
, Dec 19, 2015
Easy to overthrow a dictator but hard to control aftermath
Where we have a disagreement is that if you look at regime changes, you go back to Mossaddegh in Iran, you go back to Salvador Allende who we overthrew in Chile, you go back to overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
It is relatively easy for a powerful nation like America to overthrow a dictator but it is very hard to predict the unintended consequences and the turmoil and the instability that follows after you overthrow that dictator.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.
, Dec 19, 2015
Moral responsibility to reach out to Syrian refugees
Q: You've been a little vague on what you would do about the Syrian refugees. What's your view on them now?
SANDERS: I believe that the US has the moral responsibility with Europe, with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure that when people
leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that, of course, we reach out. Now, what the magic number is, I don't know, because we don't know the extent of the problem. But I certainly think that the
US should take its full responsibility in helping those people.
Q: Gov. O'Malley, you have a magic number. I think it's 65,000.
O'MALLEY: I was the first person on this stage to say that we should accept the 65,000 Syrian refugees that were fleeing
the sort of murder of ISIL, and I believe that that needs to be done with proper screening. But accommodating 65,000 refugees in our country today, people of 320 million, is akin to making room for 6.5 more people in a baseball stadium with 32,000.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar should take charge in Syria
Q: The Pentagon has announced they are no longer doing this training program for the so-called moderate rebels in Syria. Good idea?
SANDERS: Well, it failed. I mean, the president acknowledged that. Syria is a quagmire inside of a quagmire.
I think what the president has tried to do is thread a very difficult needle. And that is keep American troops from engaging in combat and getting killed there. And I think that is the right thing to do. So I think we continue to try to do everything
that we can, focusing primarily on trying to defeat ISIS. But I am worried about American troops getting sucked into a never ending war in the Middle East and particularly in, you know, Iraq and Syria. I don't think the United States can or should be doi
Address humanitarian crisis in Syria with allies in region
Q: The UN wants up to 65,000 Syrians placed here. How many refugees do you think the US should take in?
SANDERS: I think it's impossible to give a proper number until we understand the dimensions of the problem. What I do believe is that Europe, the
United States and, by the way, countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, must address this humanitarian crisis. People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria with just the clothes on their backs. The world has got to respond.
The United States should be part of that response.
Q: When it comes to Syria, how much of the problem is the United States' fault, of policy, whether Bush in Iraq or Obama in Syria?
SANDERS: Look, I voted against the war in Iraq; much of what
I feared would happen, in fact, did happen: Massive destabilization in that region. The issue now is not who is at fault. The issue is now what we do. And what we do is bring the region together.
Bernie has described the entrenched conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as both depressing and difficult, and considers the conflict one of the most important issues in the Middle East. He acknowledges that there is no magic solution to the
problem. Bernie sees many other conflicts in the Middle East as exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Jewish Heritage: Bernie is Jewish, but he does not favor Israel over the Palestinians, nor does he otherwise let his religion influence
his positions regarding the conflict.
Two-State Solution: Bernie believes that Israel and the Palestinians can, and should, peacefully co-exist: "Israel has a right to exist in security, and at the same time the Palestinians have a state of their own.
On Netanyahu & Iran: Bernie is not a big supporter of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and believes that diplomacy, not military action or economic sanctions, can keep Israel safe from Iran.
SANDERS: We have got to go through every possible effort in order to make sure that we achieve that goal of Iran not having a nuclear weapon without going to war.
Q: So, do you support the agreement?
SANDERS: Yes, I do. Look, I'm not going to tell that you this is a perfect agreement. And every agreement can be better.
Q: What about hard-liners chanting death to America in Iraq making common cause with the opponents of this deal?
SANDERS: I wouldn't frame it that way. But this is the way I would frame it. It's so easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect. But the US has to negotiate with other countries. We have to negotiate with Iran.
And the alternative, you know what it is? It's war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? I think we go as far as we possibly can in trying to give peace a chance, if you like, trying to see if this agreement will work. And I will support it.
Focus on domestic needs instead of international conflict
A longtime anti-war activist, Sanders voted against the Iraq war resolution in 2002. He has regularly called for the US to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as possible. Regarding the Islamic State, Sanders has said the US should not
lead the fight. In general, he believes the US should focus less on international conflict and more on the domestic needs of the middle class.
Sanders backs President Obama's negotiations with Iran and sharply criticized Republican senators who signed a letter warning Iran against a potential deal. In a statement, the Jewish senator pushed back against the idea of
tougher sanctions and was critical of Netanyahu's speech to Congress. Sanders was the first senator to announce he would not attend the speech.
Voted NO on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.
Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:
Approves the US-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Declares that it is US policy to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any other source; and
any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.
Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Reference: US-India Nuclear Agreement;
; vote number 2008-S211
on Oct 1, 2008
Voted YES on deterring foreign arms transfers to China.
To authorize measures to deter arms transfers by foreign countries to the People's Republic of China, A YES vote would grant the President the ability to place sanctions on any individual or country that violates the arms embargo, including:
Denial of participation in cooperative research and development
Prohibition of ownership and control of any business registered as a manufacturer or exporter of defense articles or services
Removal of all licenses relative to dual-use goods or technology
Prohibition of participation of any foreign military sales
Reference: East Asia Security Act;
Bill HR 3100
; vote number 2005-374
on Jul 14, 2005
Voted NO on reforming the UN by restricting US funding.
To reform the United Nations, by limiting the US contribution to the UN by up to one-half by the year 2007, if the following reforms are not made:
Requires the creation of an Independent Oversight Board with the authority to evaluate all operations of the UN
Instructs the UN to implement procedures to protect whistle-blowers, individuals who reveal wrongdoings within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority
Obliges the creation of a uniform code of conduct for all UN officials
Requires the shifting of the funding mechanisms of certain organizational programs from the regular assessed UN budget to voluntarily funded programs
Compels the US President to influence the Secretary General of the UN to waive diplomatic immunity for UN officials under investigation or charged with serious criminal offences
Creates a certification of UN cooperation to provide documentary evidence to member states investigating the Oil-for-Food program
Reference: United Nations Reform Act;
Bill HR 2745
; vote number 2005-282
on Jun 17, 2005
Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
Stop enforcing travel restrictions on US citizens to Cuba, only after the president has certified that Cuba has released all political prisoners, and extradited all individuals sought by the US on charges of air piracy, drug trafficking and murder.
Voted NO on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would require that the United States be restored to its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission before the payment of $244 million in funds already designated to pay UN back dues.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 1646
; vote number 2001-107
on May 10, 2001
Voted YES on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.
Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA;
Bill HR 4811
; vote number 2000-397
on Jul 13, 2000
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.
Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. The measure contains provisions designed to protect the United States from Chinese import surges and the administration would have to report annually on China's compliance with the trade agreement. The bill establishes a commission to monitor human rights, labor standards and religious freedom in China.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX;
Bill HR 4444
; vote number 2000-228
on May 24, 2000
Voted YES on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.
Vote on a bill to provide $15.2 billion for foreign operations in FY 2000. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $1.82 billion over three years for implementation of the Wye River peace accord in the Middle East. In addition, the measure would provide $123 million in multilateral debt relief and would contribute $25 million to the United National Population Fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Callahan, R-AL;
Bill HR 3196
; vote number 1999-572
on Nov 5, 1999
Allow Americans to travel to Cuba.
Sanders co-sponsored allowing Americans to travel to Cuba
OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US government has forbidden US citizens from traveling to Cuba since the 1960s. Try booking a trip from Mexico City to Havana on travelocity.com (or any travel website) and it says, "Due to a U.S. government travel restriction we are unable to book this reservation." You can, however, purchase that same ticket while in Mexico City, or anywhere else in the world. Sanford's bill attempts to undo this long-standing situation.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by US citizens, or any of specified transactions incident to such travel.
Declares that this prohibition does not authorize the importation into the US of any goods for personal consumption acquired in Cuba; &
The restrictions on the President's authority do not apply in a case in which the US is at war with Cuba.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL:
FREEDOM OF TRAVEL FOR U.S. CITIZENS AND LEGAL RESIDENTS: The President shall not regulate or prohibit travel to or from Cuba by US citizens or legal residents.
TRANSACTIONS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL: The President shall not regulate any transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from Cuba, including the importation into Cuba or the US of accompanied baggage; the payment of living expenses; or facilitation of travel to, from, or within Cuba.
EXCEPTION: The restrictions on authority contained in section 1 do not apply in a case in which the US is at war with Cuba, armed hostilities between the two countries are in progress, or there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travelers.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Western Hemisphere; never called for a House vote.
Source: Cuba travel bill (H.R.4471) 00-HR4471 on May 16, 2000
Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
Sanders is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.
The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001
Multi-year commitment to Africa for food & medicine.
Sanders co-sponsored the Hunger to Harvest bill:
In an effort to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, urges the President to:
set forth five-year and ten-year strategies to achieve a reversal of current levels of hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, including a commitment to contribute an appropriate U.S. share of increased bilateral and multilateral poverty-focused resources for sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on health (including HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment), education, agriculture, private sector and free market development, democratic institutions and the rule of law, micro-finance development, and debt relief;
work with the heads of other donor countries and sub-Saharan African countries and with private and voluntary organizations and other civic organizations to implement such strategies; and calls for
Congress to undertake a multi-year commitment to provide the resources to implement those strategies; and
the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to report on such implementation.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR102 on Apr 4, 2001
Urge China to respect religious freedom.
Sanders co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution condemning China:
Title: Condemning the Government of the People's Republic of China for its poor human rights record.
Summary: Expresses the sense of Congress that:
the Government of the People's Republic of China should stop persecution of all religious practitioners and safeguard fundamental human rights; and
the U.S. Government should continue to insist that China adhere to such rights.
Urges the Chinese Government to release from detention all religious practitioners, Falun Gong members, and prisoners of conscience and end torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment;
allow the Chinese people to pursue their personal beliefs; and
adhere to the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR68 on Mar 20, 2001
Impose sanctions and an import ban on Burma.
Sanders co-sponsored imposing sanctions and an import ban on Burma
A bill to impose sanctions on officials of the State Peace and Development Council in Burma, to prohibit the importation of gemstones and hardwoods from Burma, & to promote a coordinated international effort to restore civilian democratic rule to Burma.
(The two Senate versions currently differ in wording). The Saffron Revolution Support Act states that it is U.S. policy to:
support the democratic aspirations of Burma's people;
condemn the repression carried out by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); and
hold accountable individuals responsible for the repression of peaceful political activity in Burma.
Directs the President to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of:
SPDC officials who play or have played a substantial role in political repression in Burma or in the commission of human rights abuses;
Subjects persons so identified to U.S. entry prohibition and financial sanctions.
Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 to prohibit the importation into the US of Burmese gems, teak, or other hardwood timber.
Prohibits any U.S. person or corporation from investing in Burma.
Introductory statement by Sponsor:
Sen. McCAIN. The world has reacted with horror and revulsion at the Burmese junta's recent brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators. In crushing the Saffron Revolution, killing hundreds and jailing thousands, including countless Buddhist monks, the junta has left no doubt about its blatant disregard for basic human decency. We, as Americans, stand on the side of freedom, not fear; of peace, not violence; and of the millions in Burma who aspire to a better life, not those who would keep them isolated and oppressed. Our response must go beyond statements of condemnation, and the time to act is now. This legislation imposes meaningful and effective punitive action against the cruel, thuggish, and illegitimate Burmese government.
Source: Burma Democracy Promotion Act (S.2257 & S.2172) 07-S2257 on Oct 29, 2007
Remove African National Congress from terrorist list.
Sanders co-sponsored removing African National Congress from terrorist list
A bill to exempt the African National Congress from treatment as a terrorist organization. [The ANC is now the ruling party of South Africa; as head of the ANC, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years by the apartheid government before becoming President of South Africa].
For purposes of alien inadmissibility based upon terrorist-related grounds the African National Congress (ANC) shall not be considered to be a terrorist organization on the basis of any act or event that occurred before the date of enactment of such Act.
Expresses the sense of Congress to exempt the anti-apartheid activities of aliens who are current or former officials of the government of the Republic of South Africa.
Legislative Outcome: Related bill: H.R.5690; became Public Law 110-257 on 7/1/2008
Seeds of Peace: promote coexistence in regions of conflict.
Sanders co-sponsored Seeds of Peace: promote coexistence in regions of conflict
A resolution recognizing the 15th anniversary of the founding of Seeds of Peace, an organization promoting understanding, reconciliation, acceptance, coexistence, & peace in the Middle East, South Asia, and other regions of conflict.
Whereas Seeds of Peace is a program that brings together young people and educators from regions of conflict to study and learn about coexistence and conflict resolution;
Whereas these young people study and learn primarily at an international conflict resolution summer camp operated by Seeds of Peace in Otisfield, Maine, and
also through its regional programs such as the facilitation training course in the Middle East, the homestay programs in South Asia, and international regional conferences;
Whereas the first international conflict resolution camp welcomed Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Egyptian youths in the summer of 1993, and has since expanded to involve youths from other regions of conflict;
Seeds of Peace reveals the human face of those whom youth may have been taught to hate, by engaging participants in both guided coexistence sessions and ordinary summer camp activities;
Whereas long-term peace between Arabs & Israelis, Indians & Pakistanis, and Afghans & Pakistanis can only be achieved with the emergence of a new generation of leaders who will choose dialogue over violence;
Whereas Seeds of Peace is strongly supported by participating governments and many world leaders; and
Whereas continued partial Federal funding for Seeds of Peace demonstrates its recognized importance in promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts as a primary goal of US policy:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress reaffirms that youth should be involved in long-term, visionary solutions to violent conflicts.
Legislative Outcome: Related bill: H.CON.RES.337; agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Rated +2 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record.
Sanders scores +2 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues
The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. Though not comprehensive, we have attempted to provide a snapshot of legislation concerning many of the primary issues concerning Arab Americans. For the Senate, we have included 10 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, three on Palestine, one on Lebanon, one regarding civil liberties, and two for immigration reform.
S. Res. 44: (+) calls on former President Hosni Mubarak to immediately begin a peaceful transition to a democratic political system
S. Res. 109: (+) honoring and supporting women in North Africa and the Middle East
S. Res. 138: (-) calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report, formally known as the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians.
S. Res. 185: (-) reaffirming the commitment of the US to a
negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling for a US veto of any UN resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement.
S. Con. Res. 23: (-) supporting Israel in maintaining defensible borders, and against Israel returning to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967
S. 558: (+) the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, to limit the use of cluster munitions in areas normally inhabited by civilians.
S. 1125: (+) greater judicial review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and greater protections to individuals being monitored or gag-ordered by the FBI.
S.1038, the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act, in opposition of PATRIOT Act extension.
S. 723: (-) The Birthright Citizenship Act, limiting citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants born in the US.
S. 952: (+) the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented minors to become US citizens, provided they meet certain conditions, including good moral character
Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting travel to or from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents or any of the transactions ordinarily incident to such travel, except in time of war or armed hostilities between the United States and Cuba, or of imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of U.S. travelers.