Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden’s war powers

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill on Wednesday to repeal two military authorizations, effectively curbing President Biden’s war powers.

The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF), which both deal with Iraq.

The bill comes as lawmakers have voiced frustration about a lack of consultation with Congress over the United States’ strikes last week in Syria, marking the first known military action ordered by Biden. The administration didn’t cite either authorization for those actions.

“Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the Executive Branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” Kaine said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Young added that Congress has been “operating on autopilot” when it comes to authorizing military force.

“Congress must not shy away from this debate and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance this important legislation,” he added.

In addition to Kaine and Young, Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are backing the bill.

Senators have tried for years to reform or repeal the existing military authorizations, but the legislation has gotten bogged down by partisan divisions on Capitol Hill or jockeying between the executive and legislative branches.

Kaine said he informed the White House during a call this week about his bill. He noted while they didn’t make any commitments, they seemed “really willing to engage.”

Tags Chris Coons Chuck Grassley Dick Durbin executive war powers Iraq Joe Biden Mike Lee military authorization Rand Paul Syria Tammy Duckworth Tim Kaine Todd Young United States
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