Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bill on Wednesday that aims to repeal two authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) that have been used for Iraq.
The legislation would repeal the 2002 AUMF that George W. Bush used for his invasion of Iraq, and the 1991 AUMF used for the Gulf War. President Biden’s Syria airstrikes sparked the renewed push to restrict the Executive Branch’s war powers.
“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.”
Kaine announced his plan to introduce the legislation on Tuesday. The Virginia senator said Congress needs to reform the 2001 AUMF that was used for the war in Afghanistan and kicked off the War on Terror and has been prolonging it ever since. The 2001 AUMF is now used for groups like ISIS that didn’t exist when it was passed.
Kaine also said he wants to revisit the 1974 War Powers Act, which he believes does not give Congress enough power to limit the president’s unauthorized military actions. “This instance shows us the War Powers Act of 1974 just isn’t enough in terms of requiring consultation,” he said of Biden’s Syria bombing.
The bill introduced on Wednesday was cosponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).