In a bold act, Senator Rand Paul is currently staging a sit in on the Senate floor in protest of the Senate attempting to move forward with the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He is currently seeking an amendment to end the authorization of military force in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I sit nearly alone, but that's fine. I'll fight by myself if need be. This is too important pic.twitter.com/PRymNnafi8
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 11, 2017
In a statement both tweeted and provided to Big League Politics, Senator Paul vowed to object to all procedural motions and amendments unless the amendment regarding military force is added.
“Tonight, the Senate is attempting to move forward with the Defense Bill. I am seeking an amendment to end the AUMF in Afghanistan and Iraq. I will object to all procedural motions and amendments unless and until my amendment is made in order and we vote on these wars. 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,” the statement read.
Senator Paul noted that the wars have been ongoing for 16 years and that the time is now for Congress to vote on whether or not they should continue.
“Tonight I sit silently to protest the thousands of American soldiers who have died over the past decade in these wars. We have been there for 16 years. It is time for them to end. It is time for Congress to vote on whether or not they should end. 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. 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,” the statement continued.
The senator is also demanding to know where the anti-war left went.
“Where was the anti-war left demanding wars to end? Where is the constitutional conservative right demanding Congress reclaim its war powers?” Paul asked in a comment provided to Big League.
In an op-ed for Rare published earlier in the day, Paul wrote, “I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.”
The reason for the protest, he wrote, is that “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.”
Paul noted that the US is spending trillions on wars with no certainty, clear purpose, or plan for an end.
When asked how long Senator Paul will be staying on the floor, a source within his office told Big League Politics that it could possibly be overnight, but that some of it is “up to leaders.”
“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,” Paul wrote. “It’s time to demand the policymakers take their own jobs as seriously as the men and women we ask to risk it all for our nation.”
UPDATE: Senator Paul has confirmed to Big League Politics that a four hour long debate on the issue will be held tomorrow under his control.
“The Senate attempted to shorten debate and move forward without consideration and debate on my amendment to end our AUMF in Afghanistan and Iraq. Senate leaders have agreed not to try to end debate early, and have agreed to debate under my control to debate these wars. I will continue to fight, and if necessary, object, to continue this debate, secure a vote, and force Congress to do its duty,” Senator Paul said in a comment to BLP shortly after 8 p.m.