Shortly after President Biden ordered a military strike in Syria, two leading Democrats openly criticized the move. Now there’s a bipartisan push to limit presidential war powers.
“Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances,” Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said last week.
Kaine is the Democratic Party’s former vice presidential nominee. He’s also a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees in the US Senate.
The strike in Syria “underscores the urgent need to repeal the blank check for endless wars — the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs — which are now almost 20 years old,” added Representative Barbara Lee, a progressive from California.
Now Republicans are joining the push as well, including Indiana’s senior senator.
“Congress has been operating on autopilot when it comes to our essential duties to authorize the use of military force,” Senator Todd Young (R-IN) 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.”
Young is among a bipartisan group of senators who want to repeal the 1991 and 2002 repeal authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) in Iraq. The AUMFs have been used to justify a range of military actions in the Middle East without the explicit consent of Congress.
Both liberal and conservative senators are signing onto the bill as co-sponsors. In addition to Senator Young, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are also on board.
However, the bill does not repeal the AUMF of 2001, which was passed shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.