Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kty., will push a new measure authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State and declare the post 9/11 measure no longer applies. The move comes as President Barack Obama ordered U.S. airstrikes and advisor forces to support Iraqi military operation to retake Fallujah, the first city to fall to ISIS.
“We will try to get a vote on it,” Sen. Paul said on Monday. He plans to use the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill, which President Obama has used for operations involving U.S. airstrikes and a small number of troops in the fight against ISIS, or ISIL. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday in a televised address Iraq will launch a military offensive to retake the Islamic State-held held city.
The U.S. spent much blood and treasure to capture Fallujah from Islamic militants after the invasion of Iraq, but it fell to ISIS in January 2014, when President Obama referred to them as the “jayvee” team. In a televised address late Sunday night, Prime Minister al-Abadi said Iraqi forces are “approaching a moment of great victory” against the Islamic State group.
The senator wrote an opinion piece for Time magazine outlining his call for at least a symbolic vote on the use of force.
“My colleagues who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution should support my amendment or at least have the decency to debate it,” Sen. Paul wrote in the op-ed. “Think about it for a moment. These original authorizations were passed back when some of the men and women fighting in our current conflicts were still small children. No president—including this president— deserves this kind of extra-constitutional power.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kty., said last week he could not support Sen. Paul’s bill.