US senators introduce updated war powers bill News
US senators introduce updated war powers bill

US Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) proposed a new bill [text, PDF] Monday that would replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMF).

The proposed legislation includes several new provisions including: the use of all necessary and appropriate forces against al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State, along with any designated associated forces; a congressional review process every four years over the military force being used with the president submitting a proposal to modify, repeal, or leave the AUMF; reports from the president to congress on all new designated forces; and immediate force from the president against designated forces with 48 hour notice to congress. If congress chooses not to act within 60 days of the initial report the authorities remain in place.

Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said [press release]:

There have been a number of efforts over the years to update these authorities, and while there is still work ahead, I am pleased that we have reached an agreement on a product for the committee to consider and that I hope will ultimately strike an appropriate balance of ensuring the administration has the flexibility necessary to win this fight while strengthening the rightful and necessary role of Congress.

Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, also explained:

For too long, Congress has given Presidents a blank check to wage war. We’ve let the 9/11 and Iraq War authorizations get stretched to justify wars against multiple terrorist groups in over a dozen countries, from Niger to the Philippines. Our proposal finally repeals those authorizations and makes Congress do its job by weighing in on where, when, and with who we are at war.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] has exclusive jurisdiction over AUMF and is scheduled to debate, amend and vote on the proposed legislation the week of April 23.