On Wednesday, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill that would strip President Biden of his war powers after his decision to launch airstrikes against Iranian-back proxies in Syria last week.
The bill “would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations that cleared the way for a prolonged military conflict in Iraq, culminating in calls from Democrats and Republicans alike to end the so-called ‘forever wars’ in the region,” POLITICO reported.
“Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the executive branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” Kaine explained. “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,” he continued. “They serve no operational purpose, keep us on a 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.”
Young similarly argued that the usage of old authorizations underlines the neglect of Congress to “perform its constitutionally-mandated oversight role.”
“Congress has been operating on autopilot when it comes to our essential duties to authorize the use of military force,” Young said. “The fact that authorities for both of these wars are still law today is illustrative of the bipartisan failure of Congress to perform its constitutionally-mandated oversight role.”
So far, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who was considered as a potential Vice President for President Biden, have all signed onto the legislation.