- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, blasted fellow senators Thursday for refusing to hold a stand-alone vote on arming Syrian rebels, saying lawmakers were shirking their constitutional duty.

He said he opposes President Obama’s plans to arm moderate rebels, questioning the U.S.’s ability to ensure the military equipment reached the right people and wouldn’t be turned against the U.S. or its allies , including Israel.

“No one really knows where all these arms are going to wind up,” he said.

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.”

In a speech that lasted roughly 45 minutes, Mr. Paul blasted Democrats and Republicans, saying too many members of Congress are “barnacled purveyors of war.”

But Democrats said Mr. Paul himself was being intellectually dishonest for criticizing the Administration’s plan without offering any real solutions.

“His proposal is to simply bemoan that the world is a complex place, throw up his hands and retreat from the global community,” said Michael Czin a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

“It’s intellectually dishonest for Rand Paul to attack others for their specific proposals while Paul changes his position seemingly by the hour,” Mr. Czin continued.

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