Congress Is Poised To Take Back Some Of Its War Powers From The PresidentBreaking News
tags: Iraq War, AUMF, War Powers
The U.S. House on Thursday moved to repeal a nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The vote was 268 to 161. The measure now heads to the Senate.
California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee — who in 2001 and 2002 voted against two war power measures passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — was the sponsor of the repeal bill. The plan would end the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that greenlighted then-President George W. Bush's plans to invade Iraq.
"It's been such a long time coming," Lee said ahead of Thursday's vote. "It's Congress' responsibility to authorize the use of force, and that authorization cannot be blank checks that stay as authorizations for any administration to use the way they see fit."
Lee's legislation has drawn growing bipartisan support. Her repeal of the 2002 authority, which was issued Oct. 16 of that year, has more than 130 cosponsors now.
In the Senate, Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine is sponsoring a similar bill with help from Indiana Republican Todd Young and four other GOP senators. On Wednesday, the repeal drew the support of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the first time.
"It will eliminate the danger of a future administration reaching back into the legal dustbin to use it as a justification for military adventurism," Schumer said.
He noted that former President Donald Trump used the 2002 authority as a partial justification for an airstrike against an Iranian target in Iraq last year. Now, with the Iraq War over for nearly a decade, the 2002 authorization, and its use as a primary justification for military action, has lost its vital purpose, Schumer said.
A Senate committee is slated to take up the plan next week.
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