Rand Paul

Rand Paul Stages Senatorial Sit-In for Debate on Sunsetting Authorization for Endless War

Paul announces that his move won four hours of floor debate in Senate over ending the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force that launched modern war on terror.


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had a major breakthrough in national recognition in 2013 with his filibuster regarding presidential power to unilaterally kill American citizens; he's a politician who understands the benefits of public procedural power plays.

Reason magazine

He did another one today, to demand debate over some of his proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, specifically involving the reauthorization of the Authorization on Use of Military Force (AUMF) that launched the modern war on terror.

"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," he tweeted two hours ago, part of a long series of tweets today on the topic.

"The Senate is now in a quorum call, unable to act because of my protest. This is why I sit on the floor, in silent protest," he further stated. "I will continue this protest and these objections for as long as needed to ensure Congress do its duty, and vote on ending these wars."

About an hour ago as of this posting, Paul announced via tweet that he had a victory: "Senate leaders have agreed not to try to end debate early, and have agreed to four hours of debate under my control to debate these wars."

"The Senate attempted to shorten debate [and] move forward without consideration [and] debate on my amendment to end our AUMF in Afghanistan and Iraq," he began his series of tweeted critiques of his colleagues. "Where is the anti-war left demanding the wars end? Where is the constitutional conservative right demanding Congress reclaim its war powers?"

For the latter he had a special slam: "Hypocrites, they pretend concern over our constitutional duty to declare war and then block any vote on ending any of our 7 current wars."

He also made it clear the vital imperative underlying his insistence on getting his way on this vote: "Tonight I sit silently to protest the thousands of American soldiers who have died over the past decade in these wars."

Paul laid out his reasons for wanting to finally let lapse the AUMF launched 16 years ago in an op-ed today at Rare:

these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions….

If we don't get this rudderless foreign policy under control now, we'll still be asking the same questions another 16 years down the road….

Repealing the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs would restore respect for the balance of power and reassert Congress' voice by forcing legislators to specifically approve or disapprove the direction of our foreign policy. If my provision passes, the authorizations would sunset six months later, allowing Congress time for a thorough debate about how we will move forward….let's utilize the same focus and discipline we expect of our military to give them specific authorization as each unique situation warrants.

My amendment would give the U.S. Senate that chance.

It's a chance that many of our representatives will doubtless be happy to evade, but Paul's boldness on the issue might force them to go on-record on their seriousness over legislative power over decisions about war.

NEXT: South of the Border: Mexican Populist Presidential Candidate Runs Against Trump While Copying His Campaign

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  1. Rand Mutha Fuckn Paul!

  2. He would have been the first person I would have happily voted for had he not bailed out of the presidential election before NH. I still wear a t-shirt from his campaign from time to time.

    1. I’m with you. I think he would be a great president.

    2. He wasn’t going to get the. O inaction in that election cycle. Fortunately Rand is still young enough to have several more shots at it.

    3. Yeah, I was looking forward to the Texas primary so I could at least vote for him once but he dropped out before he got here. He isn’t perfect by a long shot but compared to most modern politicians he’s a saint. Plus he isn’t a lawyer, which is a massive plus in my book.

    4. I voted for Rand in 2016 via write-in…..Just like I wrote in his father in 2012….But, in watching Trump & what the Deep State is doing to him on the chance that he might really reform things, I have come to realize that if Dr. Ron Paul or Rand Paul had become prez & if they tried to do the things that they said they would do, they would be killed within 6 months….I think that is one reason Trump has backed down on some things here & there & why he filled his administration with so many Status Quo people & globalists …Trump might look & talk like a dummy sometimes, but he knows the score….he knows what they did to JFK & Reagan & he knows it can happen to him!

  3. I’m gonna say it. His hair is too curly.

    1. Too curly for what?

      1. He means, its too (((curly))).

    2. I thought we established that you love curly hairs.

      1. I like my pubic hair to be ironed straight.

        1. That has got to burn.

    3. But Oprah’s is just fine?

      1. No. What makes you think Oprah is up to good?

    4. That’s only his hair in the sense that he purchased it.

    5. It is nicer than Obummy’s !!!

  4. Bear Island knows no senator but the Senator in Kentucky, whose name is Paul

    1. The Senator in the South!

  5. What a good man.

    If only there were more like him.

  6. Why is it so hard for these idiots to do sensible things?

    1. Because they are paid to do otherwise.

    2. Don’t look at me – I am sure there are many reasons but the main reason, in my opinion, are the American people. The vast majority only get involved approximately two months prior to an election and they never learn about anything like what Rand Paul is doing but they will hear everything McCain and the like are doing. I am not calling the news fake or anything like that but maybe it is time that we all get together again and start making the major media start covering stories like this. Right now it is easy to sweep under the rug because there isn’t much opposition to the story not being out there. The liberals win not because they have the numbers but because they have learned how to make the media pay if they don’t cover something they want advertised. But I guess it is a dream because people who seem to follow the Constitution and believe in it tend to be individuals who are strong enough to not have to associate themselves with groups. Which ends up being single protests rather than mobs.

  7. I happen to be reading “Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness”, Craig Nelson. In the chapter dealing with FDR’s address to congress, he mentions (without comment) that Congress did declare war, and that’s the last time it has happened.
    How many wars have we been in since then?

    1. None.

      Because they weren’t declared to be wars.

      1. “Rule of Law”, right? RIGHT?!

      2. Kinetic military action isn’t war!

  8. Trouble is, the AUMF would probably get re-authorized. At least it would put a whole lot of Senators on record for continuing the war in Afghanistan and whatever other places the warboners will be able to shoehorn into the new AUMF.

    1. Maybe. But the fuckers would be on record.

    2. We are back to them being on record then what? We have them on record for not repealing Obamacare. What happens then? Excuses by them and us not holding them to it and that my friend is why both parties stay in power. We the people apparently have not taken enough of their games because we keep electing the same type or person to the point there is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat. Yes there are a couple on both sides that stand on principle but not enough to stop this train wreck. So what I am saying is it doesn’t seem to matter if they are on record or not until the American public starts actually learning and getting involved. How do we accomplish that?

      1. “until the American public starts actually learning and getting involved. How do we accomplish that?”

        Topless bake sales?

  9. Paul’s boldness on the issue might force them to go on-record on their seriousness over legislative power over decisions about war.

    hahaha. And be accused of being a surrender monkey?

    The sad reality is that a volunteer military has also eliminated all the electoral consequence of perpetual war. Joe and Jane voter cared when Johnny was drafted. Not now.

  10. At the risk of being banned by Reason – THANK YOU RAND PAUL!

    Jill Stein approves this message.

  11. “Where is the anti-war left demanding the wars end? Where is the constitutional conservative right demanding Congress reclaim its war powers?”

    I’m wondering this about Americans in general. Nobody seems to care.

    1. There was never much of an anti-war Left, they were mostly an anti-Bush Left.

      1. In hind-sight, this appears to be mostly true. I still recall the daily troop death numbers and the breathless reporting of it while Bush II was President. I also recall those literally vanishing overnight the second Obama was in office, even though nothing had actually changed.

        It’s one of the things that actually ‘woke me up’, so to speak, in regards to how the media itself is a propaganda machine (well, along with the media law / media history classes I was in at the time).

  12. Good place to take a stand. Props to Paul.

    Won’t matter, though. Re-approving it will probably get 85 votes.

  13. “I will continue this protest and these objections for as long as needed to ensure Congress do its duty, and vote on ending these wars.”

    I don’t agree with Paul on several things, but he’s right on this one. The only people profiting and benefiting from the endless wars is the Industrial Military Complex. OH and the shareholders of those Corporations that we are protecting THEIR assets.

    How much does Blackwater pay their contractors? ~$180k a year. You know where that money comes from. If there was a direct threat, why isn’t there a draft? BECAUSE these bastards know the country won’t stand for it.

    Now, once again class, who is benefiting from these wars?

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