WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Congress may soon claw back some of its war powers from the president. Lawmakers are considering legislation to repeal two measures giving open-ended authorization for military force in Iraq.
“We were at war with Iraq. Now we’re not,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said.
Yet, two measures from decades ago are still in place, giving the president a blank check for military force in Iraq. Senators Kaine and Todd Young (R-Ind.) are leading the charge to repeal those authorizations and take back Congress’s war powers.
“I say this as the father of a Marine. It’s so grave and important. We shouldn’t just say ‘oh the president can decide it.’ We should own those decisions, including declaring when a war is over,” Kaine said.
The legislation has support from both parties in the Senate and the House. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he also supports the repeal effort, and has plans to bring it up for a vote in the Senate soon.
Not everyone is on board. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) warns Congress needs to be careful about restricting a president’s ability to act in military situations.
“I think we have to keep looking at it and look at how it’s being used,” Scott said. “I want to make sure the President has the authority to make a decision in a quick manner.”
Sen. Kaine argues repealing the authorizations won’t prevent that. He points out that the Constitution does give the president some military power, but only gives Congress the ability to declare war.