Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had to push heavily and very publicly against the Senate leadership to get even the limited debate that ultimately occurred on his amendment, aiming to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The vote did not occur. In the middle of the debate Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to table (kill) the amendment, forcing an immediate vote. The Senate then voted to kill Paul’s amendment, by a vote of 61-36.
The post-9/11 AUMF has been interpreted broadly by US presidents as allowing unlimited war-making powers against anything even loosely described as “terror.” Sen. Paul argued that the AUMF was wrongly been used to authorize seven distinct wars, and that repealing it would force Congress to debate specific authorizations for specific wars as an alternative.
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. In addition to Sen. Paul, speaking in favor during the debate were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL).
This was driven in no small part by objections from the Senate’s Republican leadership. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that supporting an all-volunteer military meant keeping the old AUMF in place to prove Congress’ support for all those wars. Many hawks, like Sen. 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.
The vote on tabling the amendment isn’t necessarily indicative of where senators would’ve voted on Sen. Paul’s actual amendment. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), for instance, opposed Corker’s move to kill the amendment, but would’ve been unlikely to vote for the amendment itself.
While the failure of the amendment doesn’t preclude future efforts at passing new AUMFs to cover America’s many wars, it makes such debate a less pressing matter. Talk of an AUMF for the ISIS wars, put off since the 2014 mid-term elections on various reasons, can be expected to remain just talk, and no real advance on the effort is likely.
15 thoughts on “Senate Defeats Measure to Repeal AUMF”
Our government seems to be run by psychopaths.
Seems to be run, it is.
utter hot potato cowards
No surprise. A corker puts corks on bottles to prevent the contents from getting out.
America the Pitiful.
I commend Senator Paul for his efforts and encourage people to contact his offices in continued support for such legislation. And never forget who these warmonger/traitors are. (!)
I’d guess that the majority of those 36 would have voted against the amendment itself just like that wicked b**ch Feinstein. They knew there would be plenty of other traitors who would vote to kill(table) the amendment. I’m thinking the actual vote would be similar to the sanctions bills on Russia and Iran, damn near unanimous. Congress isn’t even interested in doing their job.
True. If this isn’t a cause for Term Limits, I don’t know what else is. A lot of these critters have been in either the House or Senate way too long. This nation’s Founders never intended for legislators to make it a life-long career.
This is the crux of the problem with Congress. A POTUS can only be elected twice, after FDR was elected 4 times, which created the 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to only 2 elected terms.
Now, it’s time to do the same with Congress. A House or Senate seat should’ve never been used as a career with six-figure salaries, plus other perks. No wonder corruption’s running rampant at Capitol Hill.
As the national debt just soared past 20 Trillion,
15 Trillion more than when AUMF became law.
This is Just another example of how useless and irrelevant this Congress is when it comes to confronting and dealing with the critical issues and problems confronting this nation. Last week, it was reneging on the Constitutional duty and responsibility to craft a budget and deal with the National Debt, now officially over $20 trillion. This week it’s the AUMF. One can only guess what’s coming next.
Cheney and Bush the Lesser, then Obama, and now Trump have had the AUMF ever since 9/11. Sixteen years, 5 trillion dollars, and a couple thousand American dead [and who’s even bothering to count the Afghanistanis, Iraqis, Syrians, etc] later, this so-called “Global” so-called “War” on so-called “Terrorism” is no closer to being over ~ let alone “won” [whatever that means or ever meant] ~ than it was on Day 0, September 12, 2001.
The only thing this Congress has actually really accomplished so far is the Sanctions against Russia, etc, and record successes at fund-raising for the mid-tem elections in 2018.
I called both my senators. A little more notice would be great if possible next time, antiwar.com. Both my senators supported killing the amendment, check yours at : https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=1&vote=00195
Cynicism is easy. Doing the work of pressuring representatives in the right direction and holding them to account afterward is what’s needed. To quote Cloud Atlas, we may only be drops in the ocean, but the ocean is only made up of a multitude of drops.
Wow! Only 3 Republicans, including Rand Paul, voted against killing the amendment.
When is Bob Corker’s term up? He needs to be primaried.
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