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WITHDRAWN - November 12, 2019
Born in 1960, Mark Sanford received a B.A. from Furman University in 1983 and an MBA from the University of Virginia in 1988. After working in real estate, he was Representative from South Carolina from 1995 to 2001, then became governor of the state from 2003 until 2011. He joined the military in 2002, serving until 2011 and attaining the rank of Captain in the Air Force Reserve. Sanford successfully ran for Congress again in 2012 and served in the House until 2019.
Arms Trade Treaty
Sanford’s position on this issue is unknown.
Arms Sales to Saudi Coalition
Sanford's position on this issue is unknown. He has expressed concern in the past with U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia without specific Congressional approval. However, the steps he would take to address such support are unclear.
Speech in the House following vote on H.R. 599, November 18, 2017
“This past week, the House passed Resolution 599, which expresses the need for a political solution in Yemen consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 or as otherwise agreed to by the parties. In short form, it expresses the sense of Congress in regards to our strategy in Yemen. The measure passed, but I was one of 30 who voted against the bill, and here's why:
In life, we are measured by what we do rather than what we say.
This bill said - in a long list of "whereas" clauses - the right thing with regard to our military being subject to the Authorization of the Use of Military Force in operations in Yemen. That's what it said. But again, actions speak louder than words.
So while it suggested we should hold ourselves to an Authorization for the Use of Military Force by Congress, what was in fact acknowledged in the debate was that the Pentagon has been sharing targeting information and refueling planes that Saudi Arabia and other allies are using to attack Houthi rebels in their proxy war in Yemen with Iran.
The latest estimates show that we have spent over $5 trillion on operations in the Middle East. Most of these operations have occurred without an Authorization for the Use of Military Force agreement. I have spoken up many times on the importance of our doing so because the Founding Fathers were deliberate in investing in the Congress alone the responsibility of the authorization of force. They knew that body bags came back to districts across this country - not to Washington. Yet we keep on operating, and administration after administration seems to double down in their belief that they can act without Congress' direct approval.Congress quietly objects but funds whatever the administrations decide to do in operations...and the charade goes on with great cost to the taxpayer and in loss of life and limb to American soldiers.
It is legitimate to say that we think we have a vital interest in that part of the world and need to fund continued operations. But that debate needs to take place in earnest, and what we saw in this resolution was yet another backdoor attempt by Congress to say that we don't approve...but the actions of the United States won't really change.
I have watched portions of Ken Burns' special on PBS with regard to the Vietnam War and the 55,000 American lives that were lost in that conflict. In every instance, the soldier did their part. They did more than their part as many never came home.
I think that we need to have a much more robust debate on authorizing force in the Middle East, and the idea that a non-binding resolution represents that debate to me is wanting...particularly since actions speak louder than words.
Firearms Export Oversight
Sanford’s position on this issue is unknown. He has in the past received high ratings from the NRA, and has generally opposed gun control measures. However, his stance on export oversight is unknown.