Senate Votes Down Paul\'s Bid To Sunset War Bills

The Senate has rejected a measure from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program MORE> (R-Ky.) to sunset two war bills and force a debate on what war powers President Trump should have.

Senators voted 61-36 Wednesday to table an amendment from the Kentucky Republican to get rid of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). 

Paul wanted to attach a six-month sunset of the two war bills to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is moving through the Senate. The 2001 AUMF was approved the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF authorized the Iraq War. 

Paul warned that voting against his resolution was voting to let the president do "whatever he wants."

"What I would say to my colleagues is, let's do your job. This is your constitutional role. Let's let these expire, and over the next six months, let's debate whether we should be at war and where," Paul said.

The vote, which marks the first time the full Senate has held an AUMF vote since 2002, created strange political bedfellows. In addition to Paul, supporters of the bill included Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration Dems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal MORE> (D-Mass.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE> (R-Utah) and Tim KaineTimothy Michael KaineWeek ahead: Crunch time for defense bill’s cyber reforms | Equifax under scrutiny Insurer Anthem to cover bare ObamaCare counties in Virginia Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations MORE> (D-Va.). 

"It’s been 16 yrs since Congress passed the existing AUMF after 9/11, but yr after yr, Congress refuses to re-examine this outdated policy. ...It’s long past time for Congress to do right by our troops & the American people," Warren said on Twitter, announcing her support.  

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate Dem: Graham-Cassidy is an 'intellectual and moral garbage truck fire' Dems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal Murphy fires back at Trump on filibuster MORE> (D-Conn.), who like Warren is seen as a possible White House candidate in 2020, added from the Senate floor that, "It's time for us to sunset these authorizations. And I do think that we will be able with that pressure to be able to come up with a new authorization." 

But the measure faced long odds of being added to the NDAA, with leadership and key senators coming out against it ahead of the vote.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE> (R-Ky.) said Paul's move would "leave nothing but uncertainty" for the military and be "simply irresponsible." 

"Sixteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, our enemies aren’t gone and our troops are still in harm’s way," he said from the Senate floor. 

Both Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE> (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Corker pressed as reelection challenges mount MORE> (R-Tenn.) came out in opposition to the measure.

"I agree that we need to take action on an AUMF. ...I am all for updating. Our committee intends to do so," Corker said. 

Senators on both sides of the aisle have for years been pushing for Congress to hold a vote on whether they should sunset the 2001 or 2002 war authorizations, or pass a new AUMF to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

But deep policy and political divisions have repeatedly stymied congressional efforts. 

Kaine and Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCorker pressed as reelection challenges mount -trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations MORE> (R-Ariz.), two of the most vocal supporters for passing a new AUMF, introduced a new war bill earlier this year, but that measure is stuck in the Foreign Relations Committee. 

The panel held a closed-door meeting with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Mattis hints at US military options for North Korea Mattis: US to send 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan MORE> and Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Regulation: Trump adviser affirms plans to leave climate deal | FDA to study new cigarette warning labels | DOJ investigating Equifax stock sales Top US security official targeted in Cuba Embassy covert attacks: report Trump adviser tells foreign officials no change on Paris climate deal MORE> last month to get their prospective on a new war bill.  


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Source : http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/350462-senate-votes-down-pauls-bid-to-revoke-war-authorizations

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