Two freshman Republican Senators “on Friday announced that they will oppose any further votes on a Senate small business bill next week until an amendment proposed by one of them on the U.S. involvement in Libya is brought up for a vote,” the Washington Post reports.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) made the announcement late Friday in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in which they state that they will object to any votes until Paul’s Libya resolution is scheduled for a vote.
“While we realize there are other matters the Senate had planned to work on, it is our belief that there is very little we are doing that rises to the level of a constitutional question regarding war,” wrote Paul and Lee, who are also two of the three founding members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
“Voting for whether or not to send our sons and daughters to war is the most important and most difficult decision we should ever make as a nation and as senators. We do not take this responsibility lightly, and we believe the Senate is abdicating its responsibility at this very moment,” they added.
Senator Paul offered a “motion to commit” on the small business measure that would, if adopted, refer the bill to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with instructions to add language expressing “the ‘sense of the Senate’ that the president cannot unilaterally act on matters of war.”
The Paul resolution is comprised of one sentence – a 2007 statement made by then-Sen. Barack Obama – that “the president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’”
The objections by “Paul and Lee would not affect a vote on a repeal of the health-care law’s unpopular 1099 tax reporting provision, which is scheduled for Tuesday morning.”
This is all in relation to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493) currently being debated in the Senate.