Senate Leaders Attempt to Limit Debate on Repealing AUMF | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Senate Leaders Attempt to Limit Debate on Repealing AUMF

Senate officials are hoping to get to a final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill in excess of $700 billion. Getting to that vote, however, means dealing with all the military and war-related amendments in the bill.

Senate leaders appear to have decided that the easiest way to get around this is to severely curtail debate on certain particularly controversial issues, with an 89-3 vote today agreeing to limit procedural debates on the matter.

Sen. Paul intends to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The amendment is seen as politically awkward for some hawks, who argue that they want to create a new AUMF that explicitly covers current wars, but who are reluctant to see any limitations placed on the way America’s wars are waged.

That’s the 2001 AUMF problem all over. Though on paper it was intended to only cover 9/11 and the Afghan War, the authorization has been used by all presidents since as carte blanche to wage any war, anywhere on earth, in which the term terrorism can remotely be applied.

The fact that the existing AUMF clearly does not authorize many of America’s current wars has meant that in practice, presidents have totally eroded what limited war-making power Congress still claimed for itself. This has led to years of talk about an AUMF being drafted specifically for the ISIS war.

In the end, Sen. Paul can’t hold up the whole NDAA forever over his AUMF amendment. It marks the latest in a long line of efforts by the Senate leadership to hold back an AUMF debate, something that’s been happening since 2013.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The real problem with the AUMF, as it is currently written and acted upon, is that it has given Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump a "blank check" for funding wars to their liking, but has absolutely neutered Congress' abilities, and responsibilities, for waging wars, as they are given power to do by the Constitution.

And the last thing Congress doesn't want to have to do, is own responsibility for these wars when they go "mammary glands vertical", as they have in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, 16 years on.

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