By Aaron Kesel
The U.S. Senate voted 61-36 to kill an amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) which would repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The two bills have heavy scrutiny; the 2001 AUMF was approved in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF authorized the Iraq War.
Senators opposed the amendment stating that “It would mean that we would immediately need to start winding down” U.S. forces abroad, said Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), who opposed Paul’s amendment.
The Senate can’t repeal the AUMF without replacing it with a new authorization, said war porn posterboy and head of the Congressional Armed Service Committee (SASC) Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Paul’s move would “leave nothing but uncertainty” for the military and be “simply irresponsible.”
Paul previously threatened to delay the passage of the $700-billion dollar National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if his amendment to repeal AUMF he sought to add to the NDAA bill didn’t pass.
“We have been there for 16 years. It is time for the wars to end. It is time for Congress to vote on whether or not they should end,” Paul said on Monday.
While the repeal has had strong opposition supporters of the bill included Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mike Lee(R-Utah) and Tim Kaine (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been 16 yrs since Congress passed the existing AUMF after 9/11, but yr after yr, Congress refuses to re-examine this outdated policy.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.
Earlier this year Paul spoke out during a congressional hearing on adding Montenegro to NATO proclaiming “they want to rubber stamp, they want no debates, and they want to send your kids to war with no debate,” when speaking about his fellow constituents.
He added, “Congress voted after 911 to go to war they voted to go after the people who planned and plotted the attacks on the Trade Center. That vote from 15 years ago is used to justify all war everywhere on the planet there has been no meaningful debate about the wars we are currently involved in, in the Middle East. We currently fight illegally and unconstitutionally in the Middle East because your representatives are afraid to have a public debate.”
Paul then took to Twitter to put out the most important pieces of his speech tweeting, “For decades NATO has been an organization where the U.S. disproportionately spends our blood and our treasure,” adding “Nobody wanted to have this debate. They want to rubber stamp. They want no debates and they want to send your kids to war.”
Watch Senator Paul’s speech from the floor: