Paul blocks Senate vote on House-passed Syria resolution

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCongress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Trump creates new headaches for GOP with top intelligence pick Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms MORE (R-Ky.) blocked an effort to bring a House-passed resolution formally breaking with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s Syria strategy up for a vote.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Democratic mega-donor reaching out to Pelosi, Schumer in bid to stop Sanders: report Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report MORE (D-N.Y.) tried to get consent Thursday to bring up the resolution, arguing that “we’re in real trouble."

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“The most important thing we can do right now is send President Trump a message that Congress, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans, demand he reverse course,” Schumer said. 

The resolution passed the House on Wednesday by a wide margin in 354-60 vote. All 60 votes against the resolution came from Republicans. 
 
Under Senate rules any one senator can try to set up a vote on a bill. But because that requires unanimous consent, any one senator can block it.
  
Paul, a libertarian-leaning GOP senator, objected to Schumer's request for a vote, arguing that he was trying to sidestep the Constitution. 
 
"He should come to the floor and say that we are ready to declare war. We are ready to authorize force, and we are going to stick our troops in the middle of this messy, messy, five-sided civil war where we would be ostensibly opposed to the Turkish government that has made an incursion," Paul argued. 
 
Paul argued that the House-passed resolution would also do "nothing to fix the problem" and said he was offering a countering proposal that would also stop arms sales to Turkey.
 
The resolution — sponsored by Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike Pompeo to testify on Iran in February MORE (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulGun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei Hillicon Valley: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger | FTC to review past Big Tech deals | State officials ask for more cybersecurity help | House nears draft bill on self-driving cars MORE (R-Texas) in the House and Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-N.J.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungLobbying World Republican Senate campaign arm hauled in over million in January The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Ind.) in the Senate — "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria."
 
It also calls on Turkey to end its military action, calls on the United States to protect the Kurds and calls on the White House "to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS."
 
Schumer added on Thursday that he will try again to pass the resolution and argued that Paul's decision could risk American lives. 
 
"I think that's a horrible decision. I think it could well risk the lives of Americans down the road," he said. "I think it will certainly risk the lives of many more Kurds who are our allies."