Rand Paul Holds Up Senate Defense Bill, Seeking Open Debate

Kentucky Senator also wants six amendments considered

Senate hopes for a quick rubber stamping of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the huge military spending bill, will be on hold until next week. The hold-up is being blamed on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has often showed willingness to stall big votes.

Sen. Paul is keen to see an open debate on the NDAA. He has 30 hours of debate time on the bill, and unlike everyone else, he apparently isn’t willing to yield all that time without saying anything.

Paul has six amendments of his own he wants to introduce and get a vote on. Leadership apparently wasn’t so inclined, but Paul can block other Senators’ amendments if his don’t get a vote.

Paul’s amendments include an effort to repeal the 2001 war authorization, a prohibition on indefinite detention, and a call to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan within the next year.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is arguing that the leadership needs to prohibit Paul’s amendments from getting a vote, saying that if they let him get amendments considered, then other Senators will try the same tactic to get their own votes. He argues that if everyone is allowed to introduce amendments “no matter what” then you’d never get a bill finished.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.