Paul’s amendment to S.Res. 80 simply struck two words — “all available” — from the fifth page of the amendment to ensure that it would not later be used as a justification for President Obama to authorize military force against Iran without approval from Congress.
Prior to Paul’s amendment the paragraph read:
“Urges the president and secretary of state to utilize all available measures, such as those available under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010.”
Paul’s move followed a showdown he had with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday in which he refused to give his consent for passage of a popular bill that would level further sanctions on Iran. Paul said he was denied the right to offer a one-sentence amendment that would ensure the bill could not later be construed as congressional permission for a war in either Syria or Iran.
Paul’s proposed amendment read: “To clarify that nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran or Syria.”
In justifying his demand for the addition, Paul recalled the war drums beat by GOP senators such as John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Pennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral MORE (S.C.) in the lead-up to President Obama’s unilateral decision to participate in NATO’s war on Libya, and suggested there are several members of the Senate who are now itching to begin a new conflict abroad.
“Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran,” Paul said. “[I] urge that we not begin a new war without a full debate, without a vote, without careful consideration of the ramifications of a third or even a fourth war in this past decade.”
Reid did not agree to Paul’s request for the amendment, saying the underlying bill did not even touch the subject of war, and to the contrary would provide key diplomatic tools that could prevent a conflict by “preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, threatening Israel and further terrorizing other parts of the world.”
“I really am terribly disappointed,” Reid said. “There is nothing in the resolution that talks about war — in fact it’s to the contrary. This is not a declaration of war or anything in the neighborhood of that.”
The bill, S. 2101, would have leveled broad sanctions at Iran and those who help Iran, including visa denial and freezing of assets on people and firms that supply Iran with technologies.