Eager to adjourn for midterm elections, the Senate steamed toward final congressional approval Thursday of President Barack Obama's request to train Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic state militants in the Middle East.
The legislation also provides funding for the government after the end of the budget year on Sept. 30, eliminating any threat of a shutdown in the run-up to November elections for control of the Senate and a new House.
For a second straight day, the administration dispatched top-ranking officials to reassure lawmakers — and the public — that no U.S. ground combat operation was in the offing.
Sen. Rand Paul, opposed not only the president's policy but also the refusal of Senate leaders to permit a stand-alone vote on it.
He warned against creating a vacuum that radical Jihadists may quickly fill. "Intervention that destabilizes the Middle East is a mistake. And yet, here we are again, wading into a civil war," he said.