Voting Against McConnell Amendment, Sanders Says 'American People Do Not Want Endless War'

September 15, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

As 25 Democrats voted with the GOP on Thursday to pass Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dissented from the bipartisan commitment to “fueling forever wars” and argued that Congress must work to end overseas conflicts instead of inventing “more reasons to continue them.”

“It is the job of Congress to responsibly end these military interventions and bring our troops home, not to come up with more reasons to continue them, as this amendment does. That is why I voted against it.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

While slamming Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan without coordinating with allies as “reckless,” the Vermont senator said in a statement explaining his no vote that the “American people do not want endless war” and urged Congress to use its constitutional authority to bring perpetual conflicts to a close.

“American troops have been in Afghanistan for nearly 18 years, the longest war in American history. Our troops have been in Syria since 2015 under what I believe are very questionable legal authorities,” Sanders declared. “The American people do not want endless war. It is the job of Congress to responsibly end these military interventions and bring our troops home, not to come up with more reasons to continue them, as this amendment does. That is why I voted against it.”

“President Trump’s abrupt announcement last month that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan was typical of his reckless approach—an approach that left our international partners blindsided and questioning U.S. leadership,” the Vermont senator continued. “Congress must play a role, consistent with its constitutional authority over war, in developing a troop withdrawal plan that is coordinated with our allies, that continues to provide humanitarian aid, and that supports political settlements in these countries.”

Anti-war voices were quick to slam the more than two dozen Democrats who opted to ignore grassroots pressure and vote for McConnell’s resolution, which easily sailed through the Senate by a margin of 68-23.

In addition to Sanders, 19 Senate Democrats and two Republicans voted against the nonbinding amendment. .

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