Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement after his “no” vote on Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY18:
“The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are outdated and don’t reflect today’s realities and threats. I called on the Obama Administration to engage Congress in crafting a new AUMF and have urged the Trump Administration to do the same. When we ask our men and women in uniform to put their lives on the line to protect our homeland and fight terrorism, we need to be willing to back them up by doing our jobs here in Washington. Pennsylvanians have made substantial sacrifices in this fight: hundreds of our brave servicemembers have been killed in action and thousands wounded in action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I appreciate and support my colleagues’ efforts to force a debate. I call on Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan to schedule significant floor time for this debate, and then we should take a vote on a new AUMF.
However, Senator Paul’s proposal sets up a potentially bad scenario – given the Republican leadership’s total failure to get anything substantial done this year, these AUMFs could very well lapse next year, leaving our troops deployed in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan with no clear authorization. This is a mistake.
We’ve had one hour of debate on this amendment, which involves the grave issue of war. Our military deserves a real, substantive debate worthy of their valor.
Senators Flake and Kaine are working to push forward a new, smart AUMF which would supersede and repeal the outdated 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. This is the kind of bipartisan problem-solving we need, and I appreciate Senators Corker and Cardin for committing to bringing legislation through the Foreign Relations Committee. I look forward to debating it on the Senate floor.”