Senators Table Paul Amendment to 2018 NDAA

Posted September 14, 2017

"If Congress can't even be bothered to vote on whether we should be in war, then we have no business sending young men and women to die fighting in it", Miles concluded.

The failed vote came after Paul took to the floor on Monday, vowing to block other Senate actions until his amendment was allowed.

Paul attempted the maneuver as an amendment to the defense-spending bill under debate by the Senate, saying it is past time for Congress to reconsider the authorization for the now 16-year-old wars.

Sen. Paul's attempt was an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have repealed the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force after six months and allow for Congress debate another potential war authorization. And it's a long time that - and it's long time we have a debate in congress over whether we should be at war or not. Democratic and Republican presidents have said that authority is sufficient. "It's hard to understand", Cardin stated, "how you could get from the reading of this authorization to the use of military force today". "I don't think one generation should bind another generation to war", he said.

Trump announced last month a new strategy for the U.S.'s war in Afghanistan, one in which the US would no longer focus on "nation-building", but simply "killing terrorists".

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Though senators are expected to approve small tweaks to the bill, it is not clear that any of the several amendments will earn enough support to be adopted.

This vote is far from the end of this debate.

While he'd hoped this would bring in support not only from opponents of the war, but from hawks eager to get their votes on the record to authorize these many, effectively unauthorized wars, little support ultimately materialized. Bipartisan amendment would block transgender ban Senators unveil bipartisan effort to block Trump's transgender ban MORE (R-Ariz.) left for chemotherapy for brain cancer, but Paul blocked that from happening.

This was driven in no small part by objections from the Senate's Republican leadership. Jeff Flake of Arizona to draft a new war authorization, says he's likely to back Paul's amendment. The expansively interpreted law authorized military attacks against those responsible for 9/11 and "associated forces". John McCain (R-AZ), were said to be concerned that new, specific AUMFs would limit to scope of America's wars, whereas the status quo is an AUMF that isn't directly applicable, and subsequently includes no direct limits that anyone is complying with.