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article imageSenator Rand Paul holds up huge defense bill with amendments

By Ken Hanly     Jun 21, 2019 in Politics
Washington - The US Senate hopes that there will be a quick rubber stamping of the huge National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) military spending bill that is now on hold until next week.
Senate Rand Paul is holding up the bill
Paul a Republican senator from Kentucky wants to see an open debate on the bill which as of now sits at $715 billion.
Paul has thirty hours of debate on the bill. Everyone else is apparently willing to yield that time without saying anything. However Paul has six amendments he wants to introduce and be voted on. Paul can block other Senators' amendments if he does not get a vote.
Paul's amendments
One amendment is to repeal the 2001 war authorization and would mean that Trump cannot rely on the bill as justifying military action before approval of Congress. A second amendment would prohibit indefinite detention such as exists in Guantanamo. A third amendment calls for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan within the next year.
Senator Inhofe wants to stop Paul's amendments
Senator Jim Inhofe a Republican from Oklahoma argues that the Republican leadership needs to prohibit Paul's amendments from going to a vote. Inhofe fears that other Senators will try the same tactic to have votes on their own amendments. Inhofe is concerned that if everyone is allowed to introduce amendments as Paul has done then bills will never get passed.
A recent article notes Inhofe's objections to Paul's tactics: "Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says Paul is slow-walking the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including forcing lawmakers to wait until next week to formally proceed to the defense bill."He could actually block this for a long period of time," Inhofe said, adding that lawmakers need to finish the bill by the end of next week. "
Paul denied that he could block the bill saying: "There's a normal process, you go through like 30 hours of this, 30 hours that, you have votes. It takes about four days to get a bill through. So no one can hold a bill or block a bill" But Paul added: "I do believe that we should demand that there's an open debate with amendments."
More about National Defense Authorization Act, Senator Ron Paul, Senator Jim Inhofe
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