Endless War Continues as Senate Kills Effort to Repeal 2001 Authorization

Endless War Continues as Senate Kills Effort to Repeal 2001 Authorization

Paul said he would continue such efforts if leadership failed to allow a vote on his amendment that would repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs).

Paul's effort won him four hours of debate time to argue for his amendment, which he used to denounce "unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, any place upon the globe".

The amendment brought to the Senate by Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tim Kaine of Virginia would have required Congress to do its job and actually deliberate on when and where the US should go to war.

A sturdy coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans has increasingly pushed Congress to revisit the authority granted after the attacks, which presidents have relied on ever since for military actions against terrorists. It's time to cancel the blank check.

Paul warned that voting against his resolution was voting to let the president do "whatever he wants".

The authorizations would have expired in six months under his amendment, part of a broader defense bill making its way through Congress.

The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs authorized the war against Al Qaeda and the Iraq War, and they provide the legal basis that the Obama administration and now the Trump administration has used for the fight against global terrorism.

Though senators are expected to approve small tweaks to the bill, it is not clear that any of the several amendments will earn enough support to be adopted. The Senate then voted to kill Paul's amendment, by a vote of 61-36.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (C) returns to his office after bringing the Senate into session at the Capitol July 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

But senators of both parties have grown increasingly uncomfortable at what some see as ceding their congressional authority to authorize military activity to the executive branch. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to the point Tuesday of announcing he would support Paul's efforts, despite criticizing his strategy earlier.

The Senate must now do the hard work of following through - particularly the Foreign Relations Committee, which Kaine has asked to take up the debate.

"By telling the American people one thing, which was not true, about the progress in the war and the body counts, it caused a wave of pessimism to go across this country", the Vietnam veteran said. "I think it is way past time, way past time, for Congress to take this up and for everybody to be on the record".

In June, the House Appropriations Committee marked up a repeal introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif)-the only lawmaker to originally vote against the now-controversial legislation.

New York Democratic Sen. Some of the other amendments address issues such as sanctions on North Korea and President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops in the military.

But the White House's use of an authorization from a decade and half ago is a legal stretch at best, according to critics who long have argued that Congress needs to pass a new one to account for how the dynamics of the battlefield have changed.