February 19, 2020 — WASHINGTON (SGB)-Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) foreshadowed the necessity of an Iran War Powers Resolution, citing previous abuses of permissions granted to presidents after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Sen. Paul referred to the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001, which allows the president to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against those responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“When we went to war in 2001, it was very clear cut. It said we're going after those who attacked us on 9/11...those who aided, plotted and abetted them,” said Paul.
The senator continued, “Now we go anywhere in the world and we say 2001 (Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001) says we can counteract terrorism in Mali. Whatever the heck is going on in Mali or Somali or Yemen has nothing to do with 9/11.”
The bipartisan vote that passed in the Senate Thursday would limit the president’s ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval. Eight Republicans including Sen. Paul, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Bill Cassidy, Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Todd Young and Sen. Mike Lee voted in favor of the Iran War Powers Resolution.
Paul emphasized that although the executive fights the war, the U.S Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Permission to go to war must be given by Congress first, said Paul.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who wrote the Iranian war powers resolution, echoed Sen. Paul’s sentiment, saying he feels that current permissions granted after 9/11 have been abused by presidents of both parties for years.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., commented on the War Powers resolution saying, “of course, an American president should be able to immediately respond to any actions against our country. This will not take away that ability for a president to react but if we’re talking about an engagement that’s going to be months or years. Congress ought to weigh in and say yes or no.”
The resolution is expected to be vetoed by President Trump. He warned the Senate not to vote for the resolution saying in a tweet, "It is very important for our country's security that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution...If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day."
Senator Paul also spoke about the necessity to end the war with Afghanistan and prevent similar conflicts from occurring in the future.
"We’re spending about $50 billion a year so it’s not just the cost in lives but it’s an enormous amount of money. We’re up to the trillions of dollars and there doesn't seem to be a clear mission," said Sen. Paul.
The Afghanistan Papers, The Washington Post report from 2019, outlined a flawed strategy and years of deception on the progress of the mission in Afghanistan. It was the subject of a recent hearing on Capitol Hill which Sen. Paul held last week.
Sen. Paul called the vote on the War Powers Resolution in Iran, "historic," citing the bipartisan support for the resolution.