Senate Votes Down Afghanistan Withdrawal Amendment

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Senate Votes Down Afghanistan Withdrawal Amendment

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Udall (D-NM) want to see American troops gone from Afghanistan within a year. A majority of their Senate colleagues do not agree.

 

By a vote of 60-33, the Senate voted to table the Paul-Udall amendment to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Tabling a measure effectively kills it. The amendment would have also paid those troops a $2,500 bonus and repealed the 2001 use of force authorization that began the Afghanistan war.

 

Senators Paul and Udall argued that a 19-year war was long enough. They said it was time to end the unpopular military activities in Afghanistan and bring the troops home. Senators in opposition, though, said that military action should end when certain objectives are met, not on a specific date.

 

The Trump Administration has negotiated with the Taliban to reduce U.S. troop strength in the country. Under a deal struck earlier this year, the U.S. will draw down its number of military personnel to 8,600 in mid-July.

 

The support and opposition for this amendment crossed party lines. Republican Senate leadership joined with Democrats to table it, while Democrats, Republicans, and independent Senator Bernie Sanders voted against tabling it.

 

This amendment was part of a larger defense authorization bill currently being considered by the Senate.


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