On Thursday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joined several of his fellow Senators in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq.
The bill would formally end the authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars – 30 and 19 years, respectively, after these AUMFs were first passed, reasserting Congress’ vital role in not only declaring wars, but in ending them.
The bill was reintroduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Senator Paul has been fighting to reassert congressional authority over war powers since entering the Senate a decade ago.
“For years I’ve led the fight to return war making powers back to Congress where they belong, and I’m proud to continue those efforts by joining a bipartisan group of Senators in reintroducing this legislation,” said Dr. Paul. “It’s long past time that we respect the balance of power and reassert Congress’ voice by forcing legislators to specifically approve or disapprove of the direction of our foreign policy.”
“Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the Executive Branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” Kaine said. “Congress has a responsibility to not only vote to authorize new military action, but to repeal old authorizations that are no longer necessary. The 1991 and 2002 AUMFs that underpinned the war against Iraq need to be taken off the books to prevent their future misuse. They serve no operational purpose, keep us on permanent war footing, and undermine the sovereignty of Iraq, a close partner. I call on Congress to promptly take up this measure and for the Biden Administration to support it to finally show the American people that the Article I and II branches can work together on these issues.”