Rand Paul on Arming Syrian Rebels: 'No One Knows Where All These Arms Are Going To Wind Up'

In a 47 minute speech on the Senate floor, Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted fellow senators for attaching the vote on arming Syrian rebels onto a spending bill, rather than a free-standing bill, accusing them of shirking their constitutional duty. 

Paul also expressed his strong opposition to the president’s plan to arm and train the so-called moderate rebels out of concerns the weapons could be turned on US troops and our allies. “No one really knows where all these arms are going to wind up,” he said.

Via The Washington Times:

The Senate will vote Thursday evening on a spending bill that includes the request to arm the rebels. While the House on Wednesday held a separate vote on the military authority, the legislation they sent to the Senate tucks that decision inside the spending bill — and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wouldn’t separate the two.

“I think it’s inexcusable that this would be debated as part of a spending bill and not a free standing bill,” Mr. Paul said, adding, “One might wonder why the Senate doesn’t have fifteen extra minutes to debate war.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also expressed opposition to the president’s plan to arm Syrian rebels during his floor speech this morning in which he urged the Senate to consider his common sense measure that would have stripped Americans who join ISIS of their citizenship. His bill was blocked by Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, who felt the Senate needed more time to weigh the “constitutional issues” it raises.

Cruz said, “All too often the Obama Administration proposals threaten to become embroiled in the midst of these political crises as, for example, they have made training and equipping the Free Syrian Army a cornerstone of their plan to fight ISIS.  But just this week the leader of the Free Syrian Army reportedly announced that he would not participate in the fight against ISIS unless we pledged to join in his fight against the Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad.

While this is certainly understandable from his perspective, resolving the Syrian civil war is not our mission nor the job of the military, and we should not be making the Free Syrian Army –whose focus is Assad–central to the American plan of defending our nation against the jihadist threat of ISIS.”

The initiative is expected to pass the Senate but will have to be revisited in December when Obama’s authority to train and arm moderate rebels expires.


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