20 years later, Senate eyes repeal of Iraq conflict authorization

20 years later, Senate eyes repeal of Iraq conflict authorization

20 years later, Senate eyes repeal of Iraq conflict authorization

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer mentioned Thursday that the Senate will vote to repeal two decades-old measures giving open-ended approval for army motion in Iraq, elevating the hopes of a bipartisan group of senators who need to reclaim congressional powers over U.S. army strikes and deployments.

The vote, which might come after consideration within the Senate International Relations Committee, might happen simply earlier than the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It will repeal the 2002 measure that greenlighted that March 2003 invasion, together with a separate 1991 measure that sanctioned the U.S.-led Gulf Warfare to expel Iraqi chief Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.

“Yearly we maintain this authorization to make use of army power on the books is one other likelihood for a future president to abuse or misuse it,” Schumer mentioned. “Warfare powers belong squarely within the fingers of Congress, and that suggests that we now have a accountability to stop future presidents from hijacking this AUMF to bumble us into a brand new conflict.” He was referring to the Authorization for Use of Army Drive.

The invoice, led by Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Todd Younger, R-Ind., handed the Senate International Relations panel and the then- Democratic-led House in 2021. Nevertheless it by no means got here up for a vote within the full Senate, regardless of vital bipartisan help.

The Iraq conflict authorizations “are now not obligatory, serve no operational function, and run the danger of potential misuse,” Kaine mentioned Thursday.

The Home is now led by Republicans, and it’s unclear if leaders would deliver the invoice up for a vote. Forty-nine Home Republicans supported the laws two years in the past, however present Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy opposed it.

The Biden administration has supported the transfer, arguing that ending the conflict authorization towards Iraq of the Saddam Hussein period would clarify that the Iraq authorities of immediately is a companion of the USA. It will additionally take away a grievance for rival Iran to use, State Division officers have mentioned.

However Republican opponents have argued that revoking the 2 authorizations for army power would sign U.S. weak spot to Iran.

“The ayatollah is listening to this debate,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas mentioned, referring to Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, when the panel debated the laws two years in the past.

Republicans additionally identified that President Donald Trump’s administration had cited the 2002 Iraq conflict decision as a part of its authorized justification for a 2020 U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani.

Supporters of the repeal mentioned presidents ought to as an alternative come to Congress.

“The framers gave Congress the grave responsibility to deliberate the questions of conflict and peace, however for a lot too lengthy this physique has abdicated this responsibility,” mentioned Texas Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican sponsor of the invoice within the Home. “We should do our job.”


Related Press author Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

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