Kaine, fellow senators introduce new war powers resolution

Angelo Anderson
April 18, 2018

A group of US senators, led Tim Kaine of Virginia and Bob Corker of Tennessee, have proposed legislation concerning authorizations for use of military force, or AUMFs.

Corker says his committee will begin debate on the proposed language next week although it's not clear when the committee will vote on it.

A new resolution would not necessarily provide congressional authorization for the airstrikes Trump ordered, with coalition forces, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma. In the seven countries that the United States either invaded or bombed since September 11, the number of individual terrorist attacks rose by an astonishing 1,900 percent from 2001 to 2015. Should Mr. Trump decide that Al Shabab, for example, represents a serious, long-term danger to our national security, he is free to make that case to the people's representatives and secure authorization for war.

Presidential war undermines fundamental values of our representative democracy. The new AUMF would allow the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and designated associated forces", and it requires the White House to notify Congress about any military action undertaken using the authorization within 48 hours.

· Quadrennial Congressional Review: Establishes a process for Congress to review the AUMF every four years without risking a lapse in authorization. Under this provision, the president must submit a proposal to repeal, modify, or leave in place the AUMF, which would qualify for expedited consideration, debate and vote.

The new AUMF is backed by senators from both parties, including Sens. That would trigger a 60-day period during which legislation to remove the AUMF would qualify for expedited consideration.

Lawfare has a great explainer on what the new bill would do differently from the existing AUMF, which it seems, isn't much.

All that sounds nice in theory, but the Congress - with its sky high approval rating of 15% - is not keen on actually reining in the president's use of military force.

Finally, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs would be repealed after the new AUMF has been in place for 120 days.

The chairman and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including Sen. Since June 2017, the committee has held three public hearings, one closed briefing, and several meetings on the topic.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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