Virginia Sen. Kaine’s proposal to repeal decades-old war authorization advances to the Senate floor

Virginia News

(Senate Television via AP)

WASHINGTON (WRIC) – Legislation that has allowed the United States military to be deployed across the globe without a formal declaration of war from Congress is one step closer to being repealed.

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) advanced a proposal to repeal two Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) issued in 1991 and 2002.

The legislation, which has already been passed by the House, will now go to a full vote on the Senate floor.

The AUMFs originally granted the United States authorization to begin the Gulf War in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2002.

But Kaine said leaving the AUMFs on the books this long has threatened the system of checks and balances, saying, “Congresses of both parties have abdicated our responsibility regarding the power to declare war and allowed presidents of both parties to act unilaterally.”

The proposal received support from the committee’s Democratic members, but divided Republican senators, with co-sponsor Young and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaking in support, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vehemently opposed.

However, for anti-war activists and opponents of the United States’ many foreign occupations, the resolution may be little more than a symbolic victory.

In remarks during the committee session, Kaine indicated the repeal would have few immediate effects.

“The ’91 and ’02 Iraq AUMFs are not used as the legal basis for any current U.S. military activity, nor are they needed to justify the detention of even a single detainee in U.S. custody.”

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