In a renewed push to reassert Congress' role in deciding when to send troops into combat, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on March 8 to repeal two authorizations for past wars in Iraq.
The committee specifically voted to approve repealing the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, or AUMFs. The full Senate may consider the measure before members leave for an April recess.
The American Legion has long supported Congress as the authority to declare war.
“Our nation’s founders made clear that declaration of war is the solemn and sole responsibility of the U.S. Congress,” American Legion National Commander Vincent “Jim” Troiola said. “The American Legion has called for the repeal of outdated Authorization(s) for the Use of Military Forces (AUMF). The American Legion believes that the U.S. deployment of troops to Iraq has extended long past the original intent and purpose of the stated mission.”
Advocating for a strong national defense is part of the premise on which The American Legion was founded in 1919.
“A strong national defense is an original pillar of The American Legion. ‘Forever war’ is not,” Troiola said. “The American Legion calls on Congress to once again follow the text of Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, of the U.S. Constitution.”
A group of bipartisan lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives introduced legislation to repeal the two longstanding AUMFs in early February.
"We need to put the Iraq war squarely behind us once and for all, and doing that means we should extinguish the legal authority that initiated the war to begin with," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week.