A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced legislation seeking to rein in war powers from President Joe Biden by repealing two decades-old military authorizations.
The move comes on the heels of Biden’s military air strike in Syria on Thursday night without first seeking congressional approval.
The legislation introduced from Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) “would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations that cleared the way for a prolonged military conflict in Iraq, culminating in calls from Democrats and Republicans alike to end the so-called ‘forever wars’ in the region,” POLITICO reported.
Kaine emphasized Congress’ responsibility in relation to war efforts.
“Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the executive branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” the Democrat and former VP candidate said. “Congress has a responsibility to not only vote to authorize new military action, but to repeal old authorizations that are no longer necessary.”
As noted by The Hill, this is not the first time lawmakers have attempted to repeal the authorizations:
Kaine and Young introduced similar legislation in 2019, but it languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The House voted last year to repeal the 2002 authorization, drawing a veto threat from Trump. The measure did not advance in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Even though the 2002 law was authorized to invade Iraq, then-President Obama cited it as legal justification for action in Syria against ISIS, and the Trump administration initially cited it for strikes against Iran.