WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Politico reported President Biden’s willingness to work with Congress to wind down or end authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) that were passed in the wake of the September 11th attacks and in the lead up to the Iraq War. The reporting comes in the wake of Senators Tim Kaine (D. Va.) and Todd Young (R. Ind.) introducing legislation to repeal the AUMFs. Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04), who reintroduced the Reclamation of War Powers Act earlier this week, made the following statement:
“I’m pleased to see President Biden’s willingness to work with Congress to repeal these AUMFs. Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the power to make and declare war is given to the Congress of the United States, not the President. These AUMFs are too broad and are part of a pattern we must reverse of Congress ceding warmaking power to the executive.
“Congress must reassert its Constitutional power in this area. Ending the existing AUMFs, which have been used in ways they were never intended to justify open-ended conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, is important. We must also prevent similar mistakes going forward.
“My bill, the Reclamation of War Powers Act, prevents funding the introduction of US armed forces into hostilities without a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack or imminent threat of attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Armed Forces. It also requires the President to issue a report outlining the threat faced, the objectives and justifications of the conflict, and a description of the anticipated scope and duration of the action when requesting an AUMF.
“I look forward to working with President Biden, Senators Kaine and Young, and my colleagues in the House to bring warmaking authority back to Congress. The decision to send our service members into harm’s way must be in the hands of the people’s representatives.”