WASHINGTON (SBG) — A bill to repeal the authorization for military action in Iraq advanced in the Senate Wednesday morning.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the bill, sponsored by Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Todd Young, R-Ind., that would formally end authorization for the Gulf and Iraq wars.
“Congress has a responsibility to repeal these unnecessary war authorizations,” Kaine said in a statement. “Keeping the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs on the books would only risk future misuse and undermine our partnership with Iraq. Iraq is not an enemy and we should not treat it as if it is.”
It passed the committee in a 14-8 vote and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said it would come up for a full Senate vote later this year. The House has already passed a bill repealing the authorization of military force in Iraq.
The legislation is the latest in a push for Congress to retake some of its authority over foreign relations from the executive branch. President Joe Biden has been supportive of some of the efforts, including outdated military force authorizations.
"Since being elected to the Senate, reasserting the proper role of Congress in critical matters of when, and how, to use force has been one of my top priorities,” Young said in a statement. “I'm proud that with today’s vote to pass my bipartisan legislation, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took the first step toward retaking these critical authorities. I look forward to the full Senate repealing these authorities in the coming weeks and formally bringing the war in Iraq to an end.”
Even if the bill becomes law, it is unlikely to change American military operations in Iraq, where troops are currently working with the Iraqi government to fight terrorism.
However, Young says it would prevent the executive branch from potentially abusing its power to use military force.
“For decades, Congress has been content to cede our Constitutionally mandated role of approving wars to the executive branch,” he said. “Despite the war in Iraq being over for years, and the Government of Iraq now being our partner, the authorities for that war remain on the books and open to potential abuses.”