Paul blocks vote on House-passed Syria resolution for second time

 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it GOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) tried to set up a vote on the House-passed resolution, which formally opposes Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria and calls on Turkey to end its military incursion. 
 
"What's the best way to get the president to act? Well, my friends, you know it. It's you. When Republican senators protest what the president has done, he sometimes acts," Schumer said from the Senate floor. 
 
Under the Senate's rules, any one senator can request to vote on or pass a bill. But because that requires the signoff of every senator, any one lawmaker can block the request.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Paul, a libertarian-leaning GOP senator, argued that if Congress is going to take up a resolution opposing Trump's Syria decision, it needs to have a larger war powers debate.
 
"If Democrats want to send our young men and women to fight in the Syrian civil war, let's have that debate. By all means, let's have the constitutional debate today on the Senate floor right here, right now," Paul said. 
 
The resolution — sponsored by Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelPompeo under pressure over threats to Yovanovitch Engel demands State Department documents regarding 'threats' to Yovanovitch security after release of Parnas documents Overnight Defense: Trump says it 'doesn't really matter' if Soleimani was plotting imminent attack | Pompeo won't testify before House panel on Iran | Investigation finds Pensacola base shooting was terrorism MORE (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulTop Indian official canceled congressional meeting over inclusion of Jayapal: report Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' MORE (R-Texas) in the House, with a companion bill sponsored by Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-N.J.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate GOP's campaign arm hauls in million in 2019 Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall 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."
 
It's the second time Paul has blocked the resolution from getting a vote. Schumer made the same request last week before the Kentucky Republican held it up.
 
Schumer argued on Tuesday that Paul's understanding of what requires a declaration of war is "different than 99.9 percent of America and from every other single person in this chamber." 
 
Paul fired back that if the United States was trying to "create a Kurdish homeland ... hell yes we need a debate and a vote and authorization of force." 
 
"It's an utter and complete mess," he added. "It is time we get the hell out." 
 
 
But the GOP leader has panned the House-passed resolution and introduced his own competing measure on Tuesday.
 
McConnell said the House measure was “badly insufficient.” He added that it was “silent” on the U.S. military presence in Syria and that “perhaps the goal was to paper over disagreements within the Democratic Party.”