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WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has reintroduced the American Forces Going Home After Noble (AFGHAN) Service Act on Thursday.
The legislation would end the two decades long war in Afghanistan that has cost $2 trillion while redirecting funds to American needs, including bonuses to the military, a press release from Paul’s office stated. The 4-page legislation was included in the release. The legislation would provide $2,500 bonuses to the over 3 million American soldiers who have been deployed overseas in the War on Terror which would be a one-time cost of $7 billion but a savings from the $51 billion being annually spent in Afghanistan.
“Endless war weakens our national security, robs this and future generations through skyrocketing debt, and creates more enemies to threaten us,” Paul said. “For over 19 years, our soldiers have gone above and beyond what has been asked of them in Afghanistan. It is time to declare the victory we achieved long ago, bring our troops home, and put America’s needs first.”
The legislation comes on the heels of Democrat President Joe Biden announcing a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 of this year. However, that is an extension to the timeframe his predecessor made for ending the war as former Republican President Donald Trump made a campaign promise to bring the troops home by May 1.
For Paul, the legislation has little to do with whoever the president with but rather on principle as he has long supported the U.S. Constitution which explicitly states that it is Congress’ role to declare war. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution states: “The Congress shall have power to… declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.”
Paul introduced the same AFGHAN Service Act in 2019, along with former Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), under the Trump administration. Senate leadership never allowed a vote on the bill.
In 2020, Paul attempted to get an amendment with the same intent of the AFGHAN Service Act into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but it was voted down.
“Today I introduced a bipartisan amendment to the NDAA to end America’s longest war and provide bonuses to those who’ve deployed,” Paul said at the time. “Unfortunately, a bipartisan majority eventually voted 60-33 to kill it. Thank you to those who support ending this war.”
For Biden, his promise to end one war comes the same week in which he is saber-rattling for another. The same day Paul reintroduced the AFGHAN Service Act, Biden announced sanctions against Russia as well as expelled 10 of their diplomats.
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