Congress finally stands up to a president and says, ‘You can’t go to war unless we say so’

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In July, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was bashed relentlessly for being virtually alone in supporting the president’s efforts toward better U.S.-Russian relations. This was despite Paul holding this position many years before Trump got into politics.

On Thursday, the Senate voted to end U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen, and it’s being called the biggest rebuke of Trump to date. Yet, for Paul’s entire eight-year Senate career, he has tried to force a vote to reign in presidential foreign policy overreach time and again — and has usually been denied, including a bill two years ago Paul co-sponsored with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to halt U.S. arm sales to Saudi Arabia. That bill received only 27 votes.

Congress attempting to reassert its war powers is something at least a minority of Democrats used to do when George W. Bush was president, but less so under former President Barack Obama. This is something many Republicans joined Paul on during the Obama administration, but virtually none did under Bush (except for the lone examples of Rand’s father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and a handful of others).

It is Paul who’s been consistent throughout, while most around him in both parties have changed their foreign policy and constitutional views based on which party’s president is in power and their feelings toward them.

It took the unique Trump presidency and the Saudi government’s killing of a U.S.-based journalist to get enough Democrats and Republicans together to do something Congress hasn’t done in decades.

This “is historic because really it’s been a long time since Congress has stood up, grabbed their constitutional power and said to a president, ‘You can’t go to war without our permission,” Paul told Vice News Thursday. “In fact, I can’t remember it really ever happening that Congress has done this. It is in the Constitution. Congress is supposed to declare war. The president is supposed to follow our direction.” – READ MORE

 

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