The Senate voted Wednesday by nearly two-to-one against an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to the defense authorization bill. The amendment would have ended the current Authorization for Use of Military Force within six months and forced Congress to vote on authorizing wars beyond that.
The authorization, which was passed in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, is the legal justification for many U.S. military engagements abroad, as part of what has been called the “global war on terror.” The expansively interpreted law authorized military attacks against those responsible for 9/11 and “associated forces.”
The failed vote came after Paul took to the floor on Monday, vowing to block other Senate actions until his amendment was allowed.
An attempt was made to run the clock on the bill overnight. I objected and am now sitting on the floor of the Senate to stop that— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 11, 2017
Tonight I sit silently to protest the thousands of American soldiers who have died over the past decade in these wars.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 11, 2017
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.”
In addition to arguing on the floor, he appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday morning to argue that the original AUMF should not continue to apply. “I don’t think one generation should bind another generation to war,” he said.