Sen. Kaine Hopeful for Chance to Repeal War Powers Authorizations

Sees possible green light on repeal or revision from Biden Administration

In recent decades, Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for assorted wars have just become open-ended, even if the rationale or pretext for the conflict is far out of date. Sen. Time Kaine (D-VA) is seeing some hope on that.

Sen. Kaine, who has been one of the Democrats pushing bipartisan efforts to repeal AUMFs, says he sees the stars aligning for a possible greenlight from President Biden to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs, both Iraq-focused.

Kaine explained his hope is that Republicans in Congress will be less worried about the AUMFs when there isn’t a Republican president. It’s not clear if the Democrats might not face the same issue, despite Biden’s history in Congress, of only being concerned by overbroad AUMFs as they apply to the other party.

Expectations that President Biden will support the repeal because of the suspicion Senator Biden would done so have back when may be wishful thinking as well, as presidents have tended to bristle at the notion of limits to their military powers, and the removal of documents used as a pretext for wars.

Still, the hope is there, and Kaine suggested that even if they end up short of repeal, a new AUMF might be offered to replace the oldĀ  ones, accompanied by some seldom-seen proper debate on US military policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.