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Born in 1941, Bernard Sanders graduated in 1964 with a B.A. from the University of Chicago, also being heavily involved in political activism. He served three terms as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1981 until 1989. From 1991 to 2007 he served as at-large representative of Vermont to the U.S. House of Representative as an independent. In the latter year he was elected to his current position as Senator from Vermont. He sought, but did not receive, the nomination of the Democratic party for president in 2016.
Arms Trade Treaty
Sanders explicitly supports the Arms Trade Treaty. His statements to this regard follow a record of support for the treaty in the Senate, including In 2013 and 2015 in voting against Senate resolutions aimed at prohibiting the U.S. from entering the treaty or expending resources implementing it.
Response to Amnesty International questionnaire, June 2019
"The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is dangerous and irresponsible. We must strengthen these treaties, not end them."
Arms Sales to Saudi Coalition
Sanders explicitly supports ending arms sales and military support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. He voted (See also S.J. Res. 36, 38) in favor of measures to stop the trade and helped lead the effort to override Trump's veto regarding emergency arms sales (see resource page). Sanders also introduced a War Powers Resolution, S.J. Res.7, which would withdraw other forms of military assistance to the Saudi coalition including refueling and support. It passed both houses of Congress and reached the President's desk before being vetoed (see resource page).
Press release following Saudi bombing, September 3, 2019
“U.S. logistical support, spare-parts transfers and intelligence sharing for the Saudi dictatorship's airstrikes make us complicit in this nightmare. By passing our bill earlier this year, the House and Senate have spoken: America’s involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war is unconstitutional and must end immediately. Now we must use Congress’s power of the purse to block every nickel of taxpayer money from going to assist the Saudi dictatorship as it bombs and starves civilians in Yemen."
Response to Council on Foreign Policy questionnaire, July 30, 2019
"The reality is that the U.S.-Saudi relationship needs to change. It is based on cheap oil, millions of dollars of arms sales, a complete disregard for Saudi Arabia's human rights violations, and willful blindness when it comes to Saudi's spread of religious radicalism. We must immediately end our support for Saudi Arabia's carnage in Yemen and clearly signal Riyadh that we categorically reject their not-too-unsubtle efforts to drag the US into a conflict with Iran. But we must also recognize that for the sake of stability in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia needs to be part of the solution. It’s a hard reality that the United States sometimes has to work with undemocratic governments to protect our own security, but we should also recognize that relying on corrupt authoritarian regimes to deliver us security is a losing bet. Democratic governments that are accountable to their own people, which share our values and have open societies make far better partners in the long term."
2nd Democratic Debate, June 27, 2019
"One of the differences that Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war [in Iraq]. I helped lead the opposition to that war, which is a total disaster. Second of all, I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act, to get the United States out of the Saudi- led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth."
Firearms Export Oversight
Sanders’ position on this issue is unknown. He supports banning assault-style weapons domestically, having cosponsored a Senate bill on this topic, but has not directly addressed broader export oversight rules.
South Carolina Democratic Debate transcript by CBS, February 25, 2020
"Thirty years ago, I likely lost a race for the one seat for Congress in Vermont because 30 years ago, I opposed -- I supported a ban on assault weapons. Thirty years ago. / Right now, my view is we need to expand background checks, end the gun show loophole, and do what the American people want, not what the NRA wants."
Statement from Campaign Website, 2019
"Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed and sold as tools of war. There is absolutely no reason why these firearms should be sold to civilians."
Mine Ban Treaty
Sanders explicitly supports reversing the Trump administration’s new landmine policy, but has not indicated if he would seek to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Sanders condemned the new landmine policy and promised to work toward removing landmines from the Korean peninsula.
Statement to Alex Ward as reported in Vox, February 3, 2020
“Trump’s landmine policy reversal is barbaric, weakens America’s moral leadership, and is quite simply a giveaway to the military industrial complex.
Our own armed forces believe these weapons are useless on the modern battlefield, and know that the main victims of landmines are innocent civilians. A Sanders administration will reinstate the ban on their production and use outside of the Korean peninsula, and also work to achieve a North-South Korean peace agreement that would ultimately result in their being withdrawn from the Korean peninsula as well."