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After 16 Years of War, Senate Finally Debates Need for War Debate

After 16 Years of War, Senate Finally Debates Need for War Debate

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain promised to let senators offer any amendments to the defense bill, paving the way for votes on several issues that will directly challenge President Donald Trump's national security policy.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he anxious Paul's amendment would "be read in many places as a signal the Senate has essentially declared in six months we are going to de-authorize military actions".

"I rise today to oppose unauthorized, undeclared, and unconstitutional war", said Senator Paul.

"I think it is way past time, way past time, for Congress to take this up and for everybody to be on the record", he said.

The first of the significant amendments to come up for a vote will be a proposal from Sen.

Paul managed to gather support from Democrats.

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. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to put a six-month expiration date on the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs that the government cites as its legal basis for operations against extremist groups in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

While Paul's desire to place war powers back into the hands of legislators has been shared by the likes of Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Senator Jeff Flake from IL, both have expressed a preference for doing so in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rather than imposing a deadline on Congress, The Washington Post reported. The 2001 AUMF has already been used far beyond its original objective of authorizing force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said lawmakers have the responsibility to debate because the 2001 authorization passed nearly unanimously to fight the perpetrators of 9/11 in Afghanistan no longer applies to military operations 16 years later.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat who has joined forces with Arizona Republican Sen.

The Trump administration has asserted that it has the authority it needs to conduct the war on terror, and many lawmakers say that is sufficient.

Paul said that in the long run the legislation binds the United States to multi-generational proxy wars without the capacity to vote on a preferred course of action. He said such a motion was crucial for spurring a renewed debate on the legality and constitutionality of the U.S.'s involvement in such conflicts.


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