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Senate to vote on Rand Paul's war proposal

Senate to vote on Rand Paul's war proposal
© Greg Nash

The Senate will weigh in on Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points GOP's tax reform bait-and-switch will widen inequality Pentagon budget euphoria could be short-lived MORE's push to sunset two war authorizations, a vote that follows the Kentucky Republican's threat to grind an annual defense bill to a standstill. 

Senators will hold a vote on Paul's amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Wednesday. 

Paul wants to attach a six-month sunset of the two war bills to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The 2001 AUMF passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF authorized the Iraq War.

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The move comes after Paul said on Monday that he would slow-walk the Senate's consideration of the NDAA — an annual bill that normally passes with large, bipartisan margins — and block any other of the hundreds of amendments from getting votes.  

Paul's amendment is unlikely to get added to the Senate's defense bill.  

Senators on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for years for Congress to hold a vote on if they should sunset the 2001 or 2002 war authorizations, or pass a new AUMF to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

But deep policy and political divisions have repeatedly stymied congressional efforts. 

However, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSave lives, restore congressional respect by strengthening opioids’ seizure Overnight Finance: Lawmakers, Treasury look to close tax law loopholes | Trump says he backs gas tax hike | Markets rise despite higher inflation | Fannie Mae asks for .7B Bipartisan Senate group says they have immigration deal MORE (D-Va.), one of the Senate's most vocal proponents of a new war authorization, said on Tuesday that he would support Paul's push. 

"I am supporting Senator Paul's amendment. I think it is way past time—way past time—for Congress to take this up and for everybody to be on the record. I think our allies need to know whether Congress supports the American military missions currently under way," Kaine said.

A spokesman for Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthHouse Republicans add 5 members to incumbent protection program House votes to add requirements for Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits Warren blasts Senate's 'dumb' rules, offers to hold Duckworth's baby while she votes MORE (D-Ill.) said she would also vote in favor of Paul's proposal. And Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections Grassley ‘incensed’ by Sessions criticism of proposed sentencing reform legislation MORE (R-Utah) announced on the Senate floor that he would support it.