The Senate has rejected a measure from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal House Republicans call for moving State of the Union to Senate chamber GOP rep: 'Rand Paul is giving the president bad advice' on Afghanistan and Syria MORE (R-Ky.) to sunset two war bills and force a debate on what war powers President Trump should have.

Senators voted 61-36 Wednesday to table an amendment from the Kentucky Republican to get rid of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). 

Paul wanted to attach a six-month sunset of the two war bills to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is moving through the Senate. The 2001 AUMF was approved the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF authorized the Iraq War. 

Paul warned that voting against his resolution was voting to let the president do "whatever he wants."

"What I would say to my colleagues is, let's do your job. This is your constitutional role. Let's let these expire, and over the next six months, let's debate whether we should be at war and where," Paul said.

The vote, which marks the first time the full Senate has held an AUMF vote since 2002, created strange political bedfellows. In addition to Paul, supporters of the bill included Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Kamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Dem voters split on importance of women atop the ticket in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Trump AG pick signals new scrutiny on tech giants | Wireless providers in new privacy storm | SEC brings charges in agency hack | Facebook to invest 0M in local news AG pick Barr wants closer scrutiny of Silicon Valley 'behemoths' Grassroots political participation is under attack in Utah and GOP is fighting back MORE (R-Utah) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Trump expected to pitch immigration deal to end funding stalemate MORE (D-Va.). 

"It’s been 16 yrs since Congress passed the existing AUMF after 9/11, but yr after yr, Congress refuses to re-examine this outdated policy. ...It’s long past time for Congress to do right by our troops & the American people," Warren said on Twitter, announcing her support.  

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDems demand answers following explosive new Cohen report Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-Conn.), who like Warren is seen as a possible White House candidate in 2020, added from the Senate floor that, "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." 

But the measure faced long odds of being added to the NDAA, with leadership and key senators coming out against it ahead of the vote.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback MORE (R-Ky.) said Paul's move would "leave nothing but uncertainty" for the military and be "simply irresponsible." 

"Sixteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, our enemies aren’t gone and our troops are still in harm’s way," he said from the Senate floor. 

Both Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally MORE (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.) came out in opposition to the measure.

"I agree that we need to take action on an AUMF. ...I am all for updating. Our committee intends to do so," Corker said. 

Senators on both sides of the aisle have for years been pushing for Congress to hold a vote on whether 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. 

Kaine and Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (R-Ariz.), two of the most vocal supporters for passing a new AUMF, introduced a new war bill earlier this year, but that measure is stuck in the Foreign Relations Committee. 

The panel held a closed-door meeting with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisMacron: US 'retreat from Syria' won't change mission to eradicate ISIS Poll: Most Americans want US troops in Syria Fox's Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was 'direct result' of US pullout decision MORE and Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonPompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation Trump concealed details of meetings with Putin from senior officials: report Forget the border wall, a coup in Guatemala is the real emergency MORE last month to get their prospective on a new war bill.