Senator Rand Paul succeeded in getting the first vote on the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force, but the motion didn’t survive the Senate. Shortly after it was introduced, a motion to table was put forward and it passed, killing Rand Paul’s amendment.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t Republican support for the motion that decided the vote, but rather support from Democrats. Democrat Senators Carper (DE), Casey (PA), Cortez Masto (NV), Donnelly (IN), Hassan (NH), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Reed (RI), Schatz (HI), Shaheen (NH), Stabenow (MI), Warner (VA), and Whitehouse (RI) all voted to continue giving President Donald Trump near limitless war powers.
Among those who voted to debate whether to limit the president’s war powers were three Republicans – Dean Heller of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah, and Paul – plus two independents, Bernie Sanders of Vermont of Angus King of Maine. Those five were joined by thirty one Democrats. Three senators did not vote on the matter, including the two Florida senators, Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D).
Democrat Senators comfortable with President Trump’s war powers
The thirteen Democratic votes decided the motion. Without them, only forty eight Republicans were supportive, which would have caused the motion to fail. Paul’s amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs would have gone forward to a vote. Instead, these senators decided they were comfortable with Trump having practically unlimited war powers, and that the issue didn’t need to be debated.
Here’s the roll call vote for that motion:
YEAs —61Alexander (R-TN)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
(Photo of President Donald Trump giving the thumbs up to supporters by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)