In a 10-8 vote split 100% down party lines, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a comparatively narrow Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS.
The bill, from Sen. Robert Menendez (D – NJ), would have authorized the war for three years without ground troops. Secretary of State John Kerry complained about the limitations, particularly saying they shouldn’t rule out ground troops.
Ultimately, the vote doesn’t matter, as officials say there is no chance it will reach the Senate floor this year, nor will it be considered at all in the House. That means the AUMF won’t be up for serious consideration until the new, more hawkish Senate takes over, and their leadership led the no vote on this one.
Interestingly, Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY), who also favored a narrow AUMF, voted with his party against this bill. Paul had complained he wanted an AUMF which explicitly confined the war to Iraq and Syria, which this bill did not.
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