(DCWatchdog.com) – A large bipartisan majority of the US Senate passed new legislation to repeal the US president’s war powers that authorized the two US military operations against Saddam Hussain’s Iraq – in 1991 and 2003.
The bill that the Senate passed terminates the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which allowed then-President George W. Bush to launch the 2003 invasion.
It also repeals a similar 1991 legislation that empowered his father, President George H.W. Bush, to send the US military against Iraq in an operation approved by the UN after Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded Iraq’s neighbor Kuwait.
Twenty years after the 2003 Iraq invasion, the repeal of the two AUMFs was passed 66-30 by the US Senate.
The Democratic Party initiated the legislation, but 18 Republicans joined the Democrat senators.
“The United States, Iraq – the entire world – have changed dramatically since 2002, and it’s time the laws on the books catch up with those changes,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as cited by Newsmax.
“These AUMFs have outlived their use. These repeals will not harm our service members abroad, nor will it hinder our ability to keep Americans safe,” he added.
“War powers belong in the hands of Congress, and so we have an obligation to prevent future presidents from exploiting these AUMFs to bumble us into a new Middle East conflict,” the top Senate Democrat elaborated.
However, the top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is still absent from Congress over injuries during a fall earlier this month, held the opposite view.
“[I am] opposed to Congress sunsetting any military force authorizations in the Middle East,” McConnell commented, as cited by The National Review.
“Our terrorist enemies aren’t sunsetting their war against us. And when we deploy our servicemembers in harm’s way, we need to supply them with all the support and legal authorities that we can,” he added.
President Joe Biden has said he supports the new legislation repealing his war powers. If the bill becomes a law, it would be the first war authorization repeal in over 50 years.
It remains unclear whether the GOP-dominated House of Representatives would pass the bill, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently refusing to commit to putting it to a vote.
“I’d have to look at what their bill does first,” he told NBC News.
Newsmax points out that repealing the 2002 AUMF is more controversial than the 1991 authorization because it was used to justify additional military operations in Iraq – including retaliating against pro-Iranian militias – after the war’s end.
In particular, the 2002 law was cited when in January 2020, then-President Donald Trump ordered the US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
The new bill doesn’t repeat the 2001 authorization of war in Afghanistan, which has also been used by presidents for targeting the terrorist network al-Qaeda in other countries in the Middle East and Africa.
What is your opinion? Do you agree with the termination of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts ad views by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.
Senators advanced cross-party legislation on Wednesday to repeal authorizations for the wars in Iraq – 20 years after American forces invaded the country to remove Saddam Hussein from power. https://t.co/NEktDqfjVl
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) March 29, 2023