Roughly two weeks ago in the Senate, John McCain accused Rand Paul of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin when the Kentucky Senator objected to a motion to add the Balkan nation Montenegro to NATO. Paul initially voiced his objection and then left the Senate floor without giving a reason, prompting the Arizona senator to rake him over the coals.
Well, as it turns out, Paul has a damn good reason why. He took to the Senate floor on Monday night to explain after the Senate voted 97-2 to add Montenegro to NATO.
“Nobody wanted to have this debate,” Paul said. “They want to rubber stamp, they want no debates, and they want to send your kids to war with no debate.”
Paul and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) were the only two who voted “no” to the motion. If Montenegro were attacked, any NATO member can invoke Article 5 in which an attack on one state is an attack on all of them. This could prompt escalated military intervention, such as when it was invoked after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The Kentucky senator then paid tribute to President Trump for wanting to put “America first.”
“President Trump said in his inaugural address that we defend other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own,” Paul highlighted. “I think he was right.”
The senator continued. “Today the question is will we add another commitment to defend yet another foreign country? For decades NATO has been an organization where the U.S. disproportionately spends our blood and our treasure. The other NATO countries have largely hitched a ride on a U.S. train that subsidizes their defenses and allows them to direct their revenues to their own domestic concerns.”
Instead Paul offered an amendment that if Montenegro were added to NATO, Congress would have to debate and vote on a formal declaration of war beforehand.
“We could have one 15 minute vote on an amendment,” Paul proposed. “But they don’t want to debate it because they’re embarrassed that they’re sending your sons and daughters to war without ever debating or voting on it.”
Watch Sen. Paul’s full remarks below: