tv Senate Debate on Authorization for Use of Military Force Amendment CSPAN September 14, 2017 8:38am-9:30am EDT
pensions committee continues with a series of hearings on health care. the focus today is how to improve the individual insurance market. witnesses will include doctors, executives from hospitals and insurance providers. live coverage begins at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3 come online at c-span.org or on the free c-span radio app. >> kentucky senator rand paul introduced an amendment repealing the 2001 and 2002 authorization for use of military force in iraq and afghanistan. next, the debate on the amendment from the senate floor afterwards, center devoted 61-36 to table the imminent. this is 50 minutes. >> center for marilyn. >> thank you, mr. president. earlier this week we commemorated the 16th
anniversary of the attack on our country on september 11 it was a day that i think that of us will ever forget.ge we were attacked and we wanted to take all necessary action to protect our country and go after those who perpetrated this attack against america. i was part of the congress atngt that time, and was part of the congress that passed the 2001 military force. that was targeted towards afghanistan and was part of the congress that when we took upore the 2002 authorization for use of military force against iraq, and they voted against that bee4 authorization. mr. president, it's now been 14 years after the u.s. invasion of iraq and the end of a saddam hussein regime.r. pre and yet, thank you we still have on the authority for the use of
military force against iraq, and it is still being used. it's time for that authorization to end. so i take this time to support center to paul's efforts to put a termination date on the 2002 authorization, and to put a termination date on the 2001 authorization. in 2001 authorization was a was the first that we passed. it was done virtually unanimously. there was some objection but very few. respo because we wanted our country to hold those responsible in afghanistan the attack againstga america. that authorization is now 16 years old. let me read for my colleagues exactly what that authorization said. what we passed 16 years ago. that the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those
nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that or p or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the united states by such nations organizations or persons. mr. president, that's thefic. authorization. 30 specific. pretty specific to go after those who were responsible foreb the attack against the united states. that was centered inat was afghanistan. and it was used for that purpose and our military took action against afghanistan as a result of the attack against our country, that was authorized byu congress. it's hard to understand how you mi this authorization, the use of military force today, as
congressionally authorized against isis in the middle east, and africa, or anywhere in the world. and that's the interpretation that has been given to the action of congress in 2001. i think that interpretation cannot be defended. congress has a responsibility to act.il we have a responsibility to specifically authorize the new threats that we have against our country, what military force is appropriate. that's our responsibilities. this is a different threat than we saw 16 years ago. it's our responsibility to get congressional authorization for the use of military force. some say can that be done? if they can't be done there we don't agree on the authorization of force but let me just remind my colleagues that the senate foreign relations committee a
little over three years ago past and authorization of use of military force. we came together in our committee, and i know senatorkev kaine and senator flake have work on a proposal that is certainly much more focused o towards the current circumstances.s. some of us may have amendments to that. some may disagree with it but that's the debate we should be having. there should be no debate that s the 2001 authorization does not apply to our currenton circumstances. we should past and authorization that's tailored to allow the president to effectively go after the direct threats to the united states. that's our responsibility. we all went to the american people and we owe it to the men and women who serve in our military to give them clear authority from congress in their military operations. there clearly needs to be direction given by congress. we've seen an abuse of the 2001
that we need to be pretty clear. i must tell you, i've heard over and over again from our generals that there is no military only victory against isis. we can't win this by a military victory alone.e we need to make sure that our leaders in countries that protect their citizens, not only their physical security, but good governance in their human rights. and we have new challenges that we need to deal with. cyber threats against the united states. we were concerned about a physical caliphate.ip now we're concerned about a virtual caliphate, as we take more and more of the territory away from the isis forces. so that's what we need to do.y senator paul's amendment givesle us that opportunity by saying quite clearly that the 2001 and
2002 authorizations need to end, need to end, that we don't today have clear authorization from congress to pursue the military campaign against isis, and we need to have that. there are some who say what happens if we don't meet that deadline? let me tell you something. the president has plenty oftuti authority.on. read article ii of the constitution. he has the inherent power to protect our country and our nationals could be, and he can take action in order to do thata i was particularly struck by why we need the paul amendment when i received the letter, my capacity on the senate foreign relations committee, from secretary mattis and secretary tillerson. you see, the senate foreign relations committee was having babies try to figure out how to. proceed on the authorization for use of military force. and during one of those meetings we had the opportunity to
secretary mattis and secretary tillerson before us, and we had a candid discussion about whaton type of authorization would make sense. and it was done in a close study so we could have a candid discussion, and i'm not going tg reveal the specifics because i thought that's what we should be doing. what i can tell you i left with the impression that there was room for congress to work with the administration on authorization on force. and i was hopeful that we're going to have an open hearing the senate foreign relations committee, the committee of jurisdiction, on the aumf. now, we had similar discussions under the obama administration. as a result of those discussions president obama submitted to congress what would be an use of military force.ed for that authorization was never taken up, but he asked for it. well, just recently we received notice from secretary tillerson
and secretary mattis that the president does not want congresi to adjust the authorizations, because he has adequate authority to do what he wants to do.ha i understand that. if you take their interpretation, not just visit administration, the prior administration interpretation of the aumf, they have a blank check but that's not our responsibility being carried out. we are the ones who are responsible for the authorization of force, not the president of the united states. and according to this president, he has blank check authorizatio, from congress. so, mr. president, it's our responsibility to make sure that with our men and women are sent into harm's way they have the direct authorization for the congress of the united states and less there's an urgent situation that requires the president to act, which you can
do under article ii.e the i would urge my colleagues that we have a chance to start this debate right here and now i supporting the paul amendment, and i intend to do that. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> minority whip. sup >> in support of the statement just made by my colleague, from the commonwealth of maryland. he knows as i know that our responsibilities as united states senators include some blr important votes, some of the votes that we cast will blur into history and be hard-pressed to remember them, but certainly any vote involving sending america to war is a vote you will never forget, at least not this sin to do. many of those votes that i cast over the years in the house and in the senate have createdt sleepless nights before the vote here because you understand even under the best of circumstances people will die as a result of your vote.
not just the enemy, even our own risk their lives and die in defense of the united states. and so it was 9/11, 2001, when this united states senate was faced with the awesome responsibility of voting to go to war. o there were two votes. the first was on the invasion of iraq. there were 23 of us, 22 democrats and one republican who voted against the authorization for the use of force in the invasion of iraq. i continue to believe that whenm it comes to foreign policy, it's the most important vote i have v ever cast, 23 of us voted no. the second vote was on the invasion of afghanistan and a different though completely. we just got through 9/11, 3000 innocent americans have been killed. the images are still in my mind and will be until i die. of what i saw as a result of that heinous attack, that atrocious attack by terrorists on the world trade center, on the pentagon, and, of course,
would happen in the fields of pennsylvania.es and so the vote came to then floor of the basically said when it comes the invasion of afghanistan we are going after the people responsible for 9/11. i joined every other united states senator of both political parties in voting yes. we had to make it clear to terrorists around the world, when you strike the united states you will pay a price. we will hunt you down, we will find you, we will bring you to justice or bring you to your end on earth. w and they voted for it and i knes it was the right thing to do. that's what i was sent here to do. little did i realize having cas, that vote 15 or 16 years ago, that it wasn't just voting to go after the terrorists responsible for 9/11, i was voting for the longest war in the history of the united states of america. a war that continues to this day in afghanistan. i don't think there was a single member of the senate either party on the floor who would
have believed that that's what we were voting for. it's happened. to date we lost almost 2400 american lives, tens of thousands of an injured in afghanistan, billions and billions of dollars have been spent, and there is no end in sight. tha now, who is responsible for that? all of the late congress is responsible for that. the constitution and the people who wrote it made it clear that we have the responsibility to ha it's a responsibility which may have cleared in the constitution, but it's one that we don't accept willingly and oppo most members of the senate will acknowledge that constitutional opportunity authority, but the don't want to cast a vote forng fear that they will vote in an incorrect way as history will judge. now we have a proposal as senator paul of kentucky. as one which i think should be supported by every member of the senate. what it says is this. within six months the
authorization for use of military force we voted for so long ago is going to beith eliminated, and we in that period of time have to come up with a new authorization which reflects the new reality of thet threat against the united states. com that is our constitutional responsibility. the president as commander-in-chief always mustp step up and defend america, but when it comes to the declaration of war, that's the responsible l of congress. i will be supporting this effort by senator paul. i believe it's consistent with our constitutional responsibility, and i believe it's also time for us to renew the debate as to our future inan afghanistan, a war which is consuming american lives, craig silliman casualties, cost us would dearly. it is time for us on behalf of the american people to engage in that debate again. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> thank you, mr. president. first, let me lay in support the
efforts to bring amendments before the floor later today or later this week with respect to strengthening our nation's likee america laws and cause that i have been working on for almosti my entire career in the united states congress. and it's about time we start dol making sure that when we are spending billions of dollars for the united states military, that we prioritize american companies so that we don't allow for those dollars to flow overseas when ws have companies in connecticut, can do the work. so this is important and i hope that we take some votes on these measures that if it will draw bipartisan support either this week or next. i do rise eventually my voice as well to the animate being offered by senator paul. let me stipulate that this is an extraordinary amendments to sunset and authorization of military force that currently
provides the legal authorization for our continuing military efforts to take out al-qaeda, as they try to plan attacks against the united states and our allies. but it is time for extraordinary measures, because we simply not done our constitutional duty in declaring and authorizing war. t i would argue as many of my un colleagues do that no matter how necessary it is for the united states to take the fight to isis, as we have and iraq and syria, and other places around the world, that is not currently authorized by the united states congress. and it is a fairly extraordinary leap of statutory interpretation to think that an authorization to attack al-qaeda, the perpetrators of the attacks on 9/11, allies into conduct a global war with almost no limit against this new enemy.
and so to me if we don'te mili ot against isis, perhaps against other foes that we confront, then i'm not sure that congress will ever again authorize war.ma why? it's a lot harder to authorize military action today than it was a century ago, or 50 years ago. c we aren't marching conventional armies across a field against one another. we aren't signing need peace treaties that provide a clear and to hostilities -- neat. the enemy is shadowing and diffuse and perpetual, and victory now is harder to define than ever before. and so it is very easy for the united states congress to just step back and say that authorizing military force is too hard, too difficult.o
and so we outsource it to the executive branch to decide who we fight, where we fight and when we fight and how we fight. reas fathers imagined. and, in fact, there is very good reasons to invest in congress the sole authority to declare war. if i thought that we were going to do this without the sunsetting of the existing aumfs, then it would support this extra ordinary measure. i've been here long enough tos know that it is far too easy and convenient for this congress to allow for an executive, whether it be a republican or democratit executive, to define the parameters of war and to name new enemies that have not been before this body for debate. and so i think it's time for us to sunset these authorizations, and i do think that we will be able with that pressure to be able to come up with a new authorization that gives our military and our executive what they need in order to continuee
the fight against groups like isis.on while protecting the interest of our constituents who frankly by and large no matter what state you are from do not want the president of the united states,e this or any other, to have an unchecked ability to bring the fight to anyone anywhere around the globe. and i will just tell you, take a look at the way which the president has suggested he wasor authorized to take action against the assad regime as evident of how an ending the current interpretation can be. the justification for thatas action was because it was next to action being taken against isis which was authorized because isis had some familial relationship to al-qaeda. that is three or four steps removed from any debate that wht this body has ever had. that is not what the founding fathers intended. i'm going to support senator paul's a minute.
i am going to vigorously work with my colleagues to try to craft and opt for -- authorization begets the job done. it's about time. i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> center from cantors. >> mr. president, thank you. prior to arriving in the unitede states from senate after the election of 2010 i was a member of the house of representatives and i am one of the 30% of us in congress today who are here in 2001 and approve the use of military force in response toe the terrorist attacks of 9/11. i hate to say this at this moment because the boat is so closely pending, but i don't know what the right answer to this question is -- vote. the window we face today. i firmly believe that it is the united states senate, the united states congress' authority, constitutional responsibility to declare war. i worry that the resolution that's before us only eliminates
the current resolutions.im only eliminates the current authority. what's missing is the follow-up, and i just heard my colleague from connecticut indicate that he will work vigorously to see that we had the opportunity then to vote for a resolution authorizing force. but in some ways we have the herd ahead of the horse. i will be one he will argue that it is our responsibility, it is congress is responsible to make. these decisions as determined by the u.s. states constitution. it gives us that authority and that responsibility. the question in my mind is prudent to limit the authorizations today before we have a new authorization in place. and i don't know the answer to that question, and while i've heard my colleagues say we work
to accomplish that, i worry having experienced the nice that senate now for the last seven s years that a six-month opportunity will be foregone. those authorizations may not occur. and that best once again the next the senate may be presented with a fake complete, which is or is a resolution authorizingwh force can wear at a time, the six months is run, take it or leave it, we will have a gun to our head to approve something in it expeditious way that is not really what i would be o supportive of. vote for some authorization of force, even though it is not the one that is well-thought-out? if i thought we were going to do an authorization of force, i would have expected it to have occurred already. i commend senator cork other, the chairman of the committee, and many of my colleagues who have worked to put an authorization, a resolution in
place, and voted it out of the committee, but no vote has occurred on the senate floor. no vote has occurred in the u.s. house of representatives. and i don't know whether we're setting the stage for us to be in once again a position of for us to once again be in a position of here it is, take it or leave it or worse than that, i suppose, is meeti leaves thos a position whether congress supports their efforts. we already have the troops on the ground in afghanistan. i just returned from afghanistan, this is my fourth visit there. i was there over the weekend of labor day. i came to the conclusion that we belong in afghanistan. i don't believe this is about rebuilding afghanistan, as much as it is about protecting americans. 21 terrorist organizations at work in afghanistan out to kill
us and we're engaged in a battle to defeat those terrorist organizations. the idea that we would walk away-- i heard my colleagues talk about how early we've been there. does anybody talk about how long terrorism is going to be with us? so the idea that we should set a parameter for our time frame knowing that we're engaged in a great battle for the future of our nation with terrorist organizations who want us dead, seems to be the wrong way to look at this issue. i don't know what the time frame is and i'm saddened that we're still there, but it's not a matter of time,it's a matter of accomplishment of the mission of ending terrorist attacks against the united states. 9/11 remains fresh in my mind.
so the issue that we face is this resolution offered by the senator in kentucky puts us in a position where we finally do what we're supposed to do, which in my view is authorize, declare war, not necessarily a use of force, but whatever that mechanism of authorization is, that this resolution, this vote we'll take today is putting us in a position to take advantage of the circumstances in which congress finally utilizes its authority and accepts its responsibility. i don't know the answer to that question. we are making progress in afghanistan, the greatest evidence of that to me was my visit to bagram in the hospital. 84% of the patients at the hospital are afghani, not americans. i support the resolution-- excuse me, the statement of strategy by the administration
in regard to our efforts in afghanistan and particularly the need to deal with pakistan and sanctuary. the last thing i would want to do having just returned from visiting with troops including many kansans that they are no longer supported by congress. going to war is something in my view that's been too easy, we have presidential leadership that downplayed the importance of war. it will be easy, oil revenues will pay for the war. it seems as if our political leadership in the country wants citizens to believe we can go to war and that they would not suffer any consequence in any way. the declaration of congress brings american people in tn rather than downplaying sacrifice and others not just soldiers and their families,
not just our military men and women and our families are the ones who make the sacrifice that we're all in this together would involve congress making the decision that this endeavor, whatever it is, is worth potential loss of life by americans who serve in our military. these are difficult, challenges, but important decision and i want to work with my colleagues to find the right resolution, something that gives our troops the opportunity to speakment i yield the floor. >> let senator mccain be recognized prior to senator corker's speaking time. >> i would ask if the gentleman from kansas would modify the request and i be allowed to speak to up to five minutes before senator mccain. mr. president, i would modify
my request and ask unanimous consent that senator mccain and senator reed be recognized before senator corker's speaking time? >> is there objection? without objection. senator from kentucky. >> first the first time in 15 years we are debating the congressional role in a declaration of war. we have fought the longest war in u.s. history, to go after the people who attacked us in 9/11. that war is long sense over, long since lost its purpose and time we have a debate in congress whether we should have a war or not. it's the role of congress. interestingly, the folks you've heard on other side of the issue said it's our job, it's what we should be doing and
yet, we haven't done it for 16 yea years. who in their right mind thinks that congress will do their job unless they're forced to do their job. and what we previously passed will expire. i don't believe it's to do with the seven wars we were involved with currently. if we would force them to expire we would have a debate. for those who say that congress should use their authority and they don't believe that unless they're going to vote that way. what will happen is the continuation of the same. if we abdicate that role let the president do whatever he wants. it's worse than that. lets say we were to vote for my
resolution, do you think in any of the wars would end? no, they believe that the president has unlimited authority. called article 2 authority for war. there is some authority given to the president, tremendous amount of authority to execute the war, but not to initiate war. the sole duty of initiation of war was given specifically to congress. so if these authorities were to expire, the president already said i have all the authority i want under the constitution, to do whatever i want. and that's not what they wanted. madison would vehemently disagree, madison wrote the executive branch is the most prone for war, therefore the constitution with that studied care vest that had in the legislature. it was supposed to be difficult to go to war and some take
their hands, it's took difficult. after pearl harbor, 24 hours. after 9/11, three days. we can come together as a body when we are aattacked and unified in purpose. guess what? after 16 years it's difficult to determine the purpose in afghanistan. but also, those who say, oh, we need a new authorization, but it's going to authorize war anywhere, anytime with no geographic limit or any time limit, basically they would be authorizing everything we're doing now and not putting limitations on it. we're in yemen, we're aiding and abetting the saudi war in yemen, yet, there's no been vote on it. 17 million people live on the edge of starvation because of the saudi bombing and blockade.
these wars are unauthorized, we have not voted on them and i say look, let's pay attention to problems at home. we could have $150 billion tab for harvey hurricane damage in texas. and yet, we continue with unauthorized, unconstitutional, undeclared war. i think it's time to think about what we've-- the problems we've got here at home. i think it's time to think about the $20 trillion debt we've got, but still, we have this gnashing of hands-- wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, and if we allow this to expire and didn't get another one. the thing is, that's abdicating your constitutional duties. the duty is to do what's in your constitutional duty.
it's not to say, well, the other congressmen won't do what their job is, so i'm not doing my job. our job is to enforce, obey and execute the constitution. the constitution says congress shall declare war. it doesn't say that the president can go to war anywhere, anytime around the globe, congress has to declare war so for the first time in 15 years we are debating whether or not congress has a role in this and for those who vote no against my resolution, they're basically voting, even though they say otherwise, voting to say, welsh-- well, let's let the status quo go on, it's too emotional to debate war. let's let the president do what he wants. mine is a vo et vote to grab power back and the senate has
the-- the constitution gives the power to the legislature. that's what the vote is about, it's to grab back the power to declare war and says it's a senate prerogative. the majority in all likelihood will say, no, we don't want to do that that would risk some war some where sometime, that's the point, we should be debating where we should be at war. should be at war in somalia, should we be at war in libya, should we be at war in iraq, syria, afghanistan? president obama ran on ending the wars and yet, he ended up taking the war and bombing campaign to seven countries, without any authorization. intriguingly the left was relentless in criticizing george bush and yet, george bush did come to congress and we had a vote to go after those who attacked us on 9/11. an ill-fought campaign in iraq war, but we did vote on it. we haven't voted for a
generation. should one generation be able to bind another generation? realize, if we don't force those authorizations to expire, this war could go on forever. you know, this is 1984, this is george orwell saying oceana has always been at war with east asia and a month later saying oceana has always been at war with eurasia because no one is stepping up to say no. that's what congress is supposed to do. we are supposed to be a voice that debates and says, should we go to war? it's part of doing our job, but the only way to get congress to do their job is to actually let these expire. we should have a full-throated debate every who initiates war. there's no marking this to the constitution. the constitution is explicit, the initiation of war, the declaration of war, that power
lies with congress. >> but the war in afghanistan has gone on 16 years now. we have people who will be fighting in the war, our young men and women will be fighting in the war in the next year or so who were not yet born on 9/11. we've long since killed the people who perpetrated 9/11. with the killing of bin laden there's no person left in the leadership of al qaeda or taliban that was around at that point in time. and we say, well, it's still the taliban. if you're going to say that we're going to fight until the end of time and have a perpetual war until the end of time and kill every radical islamist in the world, it's an impossibility. what i would say at the least have a debate. if that's your purpose and that's your goal and what you stand for, step forward, let's have a debate. let's debate the war in yemen, debate the war in somalia. debate whether we should be bombing people in nigeria. debate whether we should be in
syria, iraq, iran, afghanistan. let's have a debate about all of these different wars. but let's not just muddle on and tell the president he can do what he wants because realize the people in this body who are for perpetual war, they don't even think we should have any role in it. they tell me quietly every day, the president can do whatever he wants under article 2 of the constitution. that's absolutely false. it goes absolutely against everything our founding fathers-- read the papers, extensive debate over the war-making power and vary explicit will from washington, adams, jefferson, madison, all said we give this power to congress because we fear the perpetual wars we've seen in europe. we fear brother fighting brother, and cousins fighting kunz cousins in europe.
so we set up our founding document to try to make it more difficult. when we've been attacked, we came together. 9/11 virtually within three days, and pearl harbor within 24 hours, so what i would say to my colleagues is, do your job. this is our constitutional role. let's let these expire, and over the next six months let's debate whether we should be at war and where. i for one am one who says we should opposed unauthorized, undeclared, unconstitutional war. at this particular time there are no limits on war. the 9/11 proclamation has been so interpreted, so widely, that it could mean anything. so you've got people interpreting it widely and what
some say our president can do whatever. not part of the constitution. i'm proud to be a part of and instigator of the debate for the first time in 15 years the full senate will vote on whether or not we have a role in initiating war, whether we should continue to be at war or whfr we should vote whether we should continue to be at war. i urge the senate to adopt my amendment. a six month moratorium, a six month sunset on the 2001-2002 resolution so we could then have the real debate. mark my words, that's that come out and say they're for the real debate are not for it unless they're willing to sunset it. we've gone 16 years without a real debate. there will be no real debate unless we pass this resolution. i yield back my time.
>> senator from rhode island. >> thank you, madam president. senator paul has been relentless in doing something that has to be done which is the revisions of the amf from 2001 and 2002. but it's a simple notion, you can't replace something with nothing and we have nothing. this is 60 days-- six months, rather, of war time when in the last 16 years, even at the request of a president, we have not been able to come together as a senate and i don't know where the house is on this, but i think equally befuddled to provide the kind of specific language that we need for aumf. this would be a different debate and a different vote if we had before us an actually aumf that would immediately super seed the existing authorities.
without such a. an aumf, we're going to cause confusion, going to cause disruption among our forces and our allies, and having spent a little bit of time in service, when there is a possibility that in six months you will have to cease operations, you begin planning almost immediately for those operations. by the time we get around to actually even considering this, since i don't think there are plans to do this immediately. we could see three or four months evaporate. with each passing day, the concerns about redeployment and repositions and authorities become more pressing to the military. not only that, about you, our allies will read this as even if they're sophisticated to understand it's not yet the law of the united states, then
we'll see it as a signal that we are weakening our cooperation, and what we have seen over the last several months in iraq particularly, has been an effective iraqi indigenous forces with close cooperation from u.s. special operations and other forces and they have made progress. they will have political blowbacks in baghdad and kabul especially if this provision passes. i think our adversaries will take advantage of this adroitly. the newspapers, the social media, that they control, and unfortunately, they control a great deal in all parts of the world, will make this very simple, u.s. to leave. u.s. restricting authority. that's both the practical consequence. again, this would be an entirely different debate, an
entirely different vote, i think, if we were looking at a real replacement for the aumf of 2001 and 2002. so i would urge my colleagues to think not just about the, you know, the constitutional imperative, the congressional authorities to declare war, presidential authorities under article 2, but to think about the practical and almost immediate consequences for those in the field to our allies, and also as a possible ways in which this act could be used by adversaries. >> to that, madam president, i would yield the floor. >> senator from arizona. >> madam president, i'll discuss the amendments which is the authorization of use of military force, the ongoing operations against violent extremist organizations.
first of all, let's point out that it's important to acknowledge why our current fight against terrorism is necessary. earlier this week we commemorated the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took the lives of thousands of innocent americans and shook our nation to its core. and importantly brought us together in common resolve to make sure that that kind of tragedy would never ever happen again. in pursuit of that, the men and women currently deployed in afghanistan and iraq and other places. no matter what we do in this body or this legislation, we must always ask ourselves if we are doing everything we can to support those service members as they risk their lives to defend us. at the same time we must recognize the ways in which the current conflict is different than when congress passed the first authorization, use the military force in 2001.
the landscape of the mobile fight against terrorism has changed dramatically, the emerge of isis and afghanistan and iraq. that's why i and many others, long called for updating the aumf's, yet, the nature of the conflict remains the same. terrorist organizations continue to work the religion of islam and plot for new fighters as part of their jihad against the united states of america and all that we stand for. i'm on the armed services committee and open to a process for a new aumf against crisis and other terrorist organizations as identified by the administration. i'd be re willing to work with my colleague including the chairman and ranking member of the committee as well as the senator from kentucky to ensure that the legislation proceeded on a regular order, that
includes a hearing, committee markup and assure each member of the body was able to have his or her voice heard. madam president, haven't we had enough of bringing things to the floor without hearings, maepts or debate? i'm confident an overwhelming majority of my colleagues would approve the u.s. of military force against isis and associated forces. the moment before us now falls far, far short of that process. beginning in 2001, 2001, aumf's without simultaneously passing a new operation, would be immature and irresponsible for national security andinhibit our democracy building efforts abroad. as we speak, we have troops deployed overseas engaged in the fighting against ice tis,
al qaeda, the taliban and other extremist organizations. with the existing eumf's. this body considers taking any action that would put our currently deployed service members at risk. it's also important to recognize, stopping this amendment and both our enemies, and a signal to the u.s. armed forces in afghanistan and iraq and elsewhere, that they longer support their mission and sacrifice. we cannot send that message because it's not true. in closing, i agree with with those supporting this amendment that the time has come to renew authorization for the use of military force in the global fight against terrorism. this amendment, rather than repeal the existing aumf and without a new authorization, i
urge my colleagues to work together on a new bipartisan aumf that you face today. there are many members on both seeds of the aisle working together on aumf including the chairman of the committee. that would be a charge i would anticipate and those currently deployed in harm's way fighting. and make sure that america cannot see another day like 9/11. and men and women in uniform, everything they need, continuing the legal authority to keep our nation safe. >> senator from tennessee. >> i agree with so much of what the senator just said. we're ready to go through a procedural motion and i want to explain briefly. senator paul has offered a moment. i would prefer that we have an
up or down vote on this amendment personally. i do not support the amendment for many reasons that senator mccain just laid out, but in order for senator paul, i'm doing this out of respect for here, have a reported vote, i'm going to motion to table, to table his amendment which allows him to actually get a vote. if it was a straight up and down vote, he would have to have unanimous consent to occur. this is not a hostile act, he's beside me and knows what i'm doing. i'm going to move to table this shortly. i do not support the substance of this. i agree that we need to take action upon an oumf, the administration supports and i agree with them, that they have to deal with isis from 2001 and
2002. there's been a bipartisan by committee members and hope at that take up with an aumf, but doing away on the basis, before we've implemented today. it's not prudent. we would immediately begin winding down our operations and it's not in our national security interest. so out of courtesy to the gentleman from kentucky who serves on our committee, i'm going to move to table the paul amendment. 871 and ask for yay's and nays. i yield the floor. >> is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. >> the question on the motion to table. calling the roll. >> montana senator john tester
and oregon senator widen came to the senate floor to remind the nation while the natural disaster focus is on hurricane affected areas at the moment. there continues to be a serious wildfire problem in the west. >> mr. president, the images and stories we've witnessed in the aftermath of harvey and irma are devastating. i want to thank every american, every montanaen who has pitched in, donated to the recovery efforts in texas and florida, but i rise today to remind the country that there's another devastating and ongoing natural disaster that is impacting thousands of families, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and draining local economies. as the eyes of the nation were on florida this last weekend and rightly so. montana wildfires consumed