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

 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action 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.
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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 EngelOvernight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation House Democrats pull subpoena for ex-Trump national security official MORE (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulTexas GOP congressman calls on governor to postpone execution of Rodney Reed House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Trump: Whistleblower 'must come forward' MORE (R-Texas) in the House, with a companion bill sponsored by Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward MORE (D-N.J.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungTester: Our forefathers would not have tolerated Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing 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.”