"The executive is the branch most prone to war therefore the Constitution, has, with studied care, vested the power to declare war in the legislature," said Paul from the Senate floor late last week while introducing his amendment. "We are calling for a formal end to the war in Iraq… this will reclaim the power to declare war that is vested in the Congress."
Paul's amendment would in no way affect the current troop withdrawal Obama has ordered from Iraq. In October the White House announced it would begin a drawdown culminating in the end of the war by the end of 2011. Paul's contention however, is based on his belief that the Constitution exclusively grants Congress power to both declare and terminate war.
Earlier in the year Paul also clashed with the administration over war powers when he became a vocal opponent of the administration's unilateral decision to participate in the NATO assault on the regime of Libya's former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
"On several occasions this year, Congress has been ignored or remained silent while the president committed our forces to combat," Paul said in a statement also released last week. "It is my intention to urge Congress to reclaim its constitutional authority over the decision to go to war, or to end a war — it is one of the body's most important powers."
The amendment was proposed to the Defense Department's authorization bill, which provides funding for fiscal year 2012. It is unclear whether or not Paul's amendment will see a vote.