On Sunday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) announced a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). If passed, the AUMF will allow President Joe Biden to deploy American troops to defend Ukraine if Russia uses chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.
The Congressman issued a press release saying the legislation would establish important redlines and echoed Biden’s plea that "Putin must be stopped."
"I’m introducing this AUMF as a clear redline so the Administration can take appropriate action should Russia use chemical, biological, and/or nuclear weapons. We must stand up for humanity and we must stand with our allies.
"As the President of the United States has said, Putin must be stopped. Accordingly, the Commander in Chief to the world’s greatest military should have the authority and means to take the necessary actions to do so."
The bill titled "To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces to defend the territorial integrity of United States allies," allows the President to determine if Russia has used WMDs. The AUMF terminates once the "President certifies to Congress that the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been restored."
Similar to the 2002 AUMF, the legislation gives the President nearly a blank check to wage war. The bill does not include oversight on the determination of WMD use or sunset date.
Kinzinger announced the bill on Meet the Press, telling host Margret Brennan, "I don’t think we need to be using force in Ukraine right now. I just introduced an AUMF giving the president basically congressional leverage for permission to use it if WMDs, nuclear, biological or chemical are used in Ukraine."
In a speech just days before voting for the 2002 AUMF, then-Senator Joe Biden likewise downplayed the risk President George W. Bush would use the authority to go to war in Iraq. "I will vote for this because we should be compelling Iraq to make good on its obligations to the United Nations…Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable."