The Senate on Tuesday blocked an amendment that would have allowed the Obama administration to send direct aid to Kurdish peshmerga forces in Iraq.
Senators voted 54-45 on the amendment, from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report Democrats vie for chance to take on Trump as California governor MORE (D-Calif.), to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) The amendment faced a 60-vote threshold to be attached to the defense policy bill.
Ernst suggested that the measure was a necessary step to help defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS.)
"ISIS is deadly and determined, and Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS need weapons as quickly as possible," she said on Monday afternoon. "We simply cannot afford future delays at this critical moment in the battle."
Ernst added that her amendment didn't force the president to directly aid the Kurdish peshmerga forces, but gave him the option to do so.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinA guide to the committees: Senate House bill would prevent Trump from lifting Russian sanctions Overnight Cybersecurity: White House does damage control on Flynn | Pressure builds for probe MORE (D-Md.) backed the administration, saying Ernst's amendment could unintentionally bolster ISIS.
"It would undermine the authority of the central government," Cardin said late Monday afternoon. "We need to have a central government that represents all the communities of Iraq."