Cory Booker on Foreign Policy
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
BOOKER: We need a stronger policy, one that's led by American values. Yes, we will call China out for its human rights violations. It is about time that this country is led by someone who will say the values of freedom and democracy are what we are going to lead with and begin to check China, Putin, and the other folks that are trying to undermine democratic values.
Our allies are beginning to question our commitment to fundamental democratic values when you have a president that seems to buddy up with Chairman Kim or Duterte or Putin more than friends, people that are critical allies we need in our trade deals.
By gutting the institutions that protect the rights of workers, Trump's budget would make it more difficult for hardworking people who play by the rules. It would undermine the necessary and life-saving work done by diplomats representing American interests across the globe, making our country less safe and our world less secure. It would slow progress in scientific research, making it more difficult for the United States to lead the charge towards the cure for diseases like cancer.
This out-of-touch, callous, and dangerous budget is a reflection of President Trump's skewed political priorities, not what's best for middle class families and our country's economic competitiveness.
BOOKER: Well, she is not running against President Obama. She is running against Donald Trump. And we know already what Donald Trump has said he was going to do, which is undermine key alliances like the NATO alliance which helps us to protect not only our country, but really fight against the war on terror. He wants to go against Muslims and denigrate relationships with Muslim countries, which include countries like Turkey. And already leaders there are worried about Trump. He wants to go back to doing things that are outrageous, like saying, "hey, we're going to go after the families of terrorists; we're going to bring batch torture." Donald Trump is dangerous and would make this world a far more dangerous place. In fact, he would undermine many of the things that are in place right now that would make us a much safer country.
Lasting security for Israel will ultimately require peace between Israel and its neighbors. That is why we as Americans must continue to work to facilitate direct negotiations that seek a two-state solution. However, it is the right of the Israeli government to make the tough decisions that are necessary to secure its future. The Palestinian People deserve a state, [but it] must not be a vehicle for the launching of attacks against Israel. During any eventual negotiation, certain things must remain non-negotiable, namely conditions that speak to Israel's right to exist as a secure Jewish state.
Neither Booker nor Lonegan would qualify as a "hawk," but Booker is more receptive to the deployment of U. forces. Asked a Syria-inspired question in the first debate about "America's role in the world," Booker said the US should be willing to combat genocide, while Lonegan countered that the military's role is to "defend our borders and our trade routes."
That drew a rebuttal from Booker: "We cannot, like Mr. Lonegan suggests, just stick our heads in the sand and protect our borders. We have to be involved in the international community in a way that works with others to stop terrorism, other problems--famines to genocide--that are going on in the world," Booker said
Excerpts from Letter from 73 Senators to Secretary of State Kerry We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), because the Palestinian Authority is not a state and its express intent is to use this process to threaten Israel.
Pres. Abbas' effort contravene the spirit of earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and erodes the prospect for peace. Therefore, the US must make clear that joining the ICC is not a legitimate or viable path for Palestinians.
Israel is a major strategic partner of the US and is facing increasing pressure from those who seek to delegitimize its very existence. The only realistic and sustainable path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, "U.S. Should Not Join the ICC," Aug. 18, 2009): The ICC prosecutor is exploring a request by the Palestinian National Authority to prosecute Israeli commanders for alleged war crimes committed during the recent actions in Gaza. Palestinian lawyers maintain that the Palestinian National Authority can request ICC jurisdiction as the de facto sovereign even though it is not an internationally recognized state. By countenancing Palestine's claims, the ICC prosecutor has enabled pressure to be applied to Israel over alleged war crimes, while ignoring Hamas's incitement of the military action and its commission of war crimes against Israeli civilians. Furthermore, by seemingly recognizing Palestine as a sovereign entity, the prosecutor's action has created a pathway for Palestinian statehood without first reaching a comprehensive peace deal with Israel. This determination is an inherently political issue beyond the ICC's authority.
Congressional Summary: S.Res.6/H.Res.11 objects to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which characterizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and demands cessation of settlement activities.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, Dec. 19, 2003): In principle, separation seems the best answer to stop the killing. For this reason, a security fence makes sense--if it actually separates Jew from Arab. Unfortunately, to protect a number of disparate Israeli settlements erected in the midst of Palestinian communities, Israel currently is mixing Jew and Arab and separating Arab from Arab. Thus are sown the seeds for conflict. After 36 years of occupation, the land remains almost exclusively Arab. The limited Jewish presence is the result of conscious colonization. The settlements require a pervasive Israeli military occupation, imposing a de facto system of apartheid. Separation offers the only hope, but separation requires dismantling Israeli settlements.
Excerpts from Letter from 12 Senators to President Trump: Since the onset of South Sudan's civil war in 2013, at least 50,000 people have been killed and approximately 3 million have fled their homes. The African Union and the United Nations have documented numerous human rights abuses and warned of potential genocide. The assaults on civilians carried out during the course of the fighting in July 2016 between government and opposition forces shocked the conscience of the world, and served to demonstrate that the August 2015 peace agreement has failed. To date, the government has not held anyone accountable for the violence, nor for attacking a U.S. diplomatic convoy.
UN peacekeepers are protecting over 200,000 people who might otherwise be dead at UN bases in South Sudan. The UN Security Council approved an additional 4,000 peacekeepers in the wake of the July violence. Unfortunately, the government continues to obstruct the deployment of these troops.
In Sudan, it is critical that we ensure that Khartoum lives up to its agreement to adhere to its ceasefires, allow free and unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of Sudan and stop supporting rebel movements in South Sudan.
Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, 1/22/2014): The number of casualties and refugees in South Sudan is straining government and international humanitarian efforts. Pressure must be applied to both the government of South Sudan and the rebel faction to reconcile peacefully. The U.S. has a key role to play in the mediation efforts. South Sudan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. bilateral aid in sub-Saharan Africa, and the U.S. was instrumental in helping the young country gain independence and stand up its government. The U.S. should focus now on ending the conflict, political reconciliation, and humanitarian assistance.
Legislative summary: The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act:
Statement in support by Sen. Cruz: Sen. Ted Cruz joined Sen. Marco Rubio in introducing H.R.6210 to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the use of force labor. "The Chinese Communist Party has transformed Xinjiang into a technological dystopia and a human rights horror," Sen. Cruz said. "Time and time again from the CCP we see the complete and total disregard for human life and values.."
Statement in opposition in Washington Post: Researchers estimate the Chinese government has placed more than 1 million people into internment camps in Xinjiang. While US law already prevents companies from importing goods that were made using forced labor, the law is seldom enforced. Apple is heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing; alleged forced Uighur labor has been used in Apple's supply chain. A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute alleged four instances in which labor from the Xinjiang region has been connected to Apple's supply chain: In 2017, the Chinese government transferred between 1,000 and 2,000 Uighurs to work at a factory owned by O-Film, which helps make selfie cameras for Apple's iPhone.
Legislative outcome: Passed House 406 3-22,(2/3 required) Roll no. 196 on 09/22/2020.
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AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
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AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
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Senate Votes (analysis)