The decades-old legislation has been invoked to justify US military operations in at least 22 countries
FILE PHOTO: Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 25, 2023. © AP / Manuel Balce Ceneta
The US Senate has overwhelmingly voted down a proposal to repeal a 2001 law which has been interpreted to grant sweeping war powers to the White House. Several presidents have cited the same measure as legal backing for dozens of military interventions around the world over more than 20 years.
Introduced by Republican Senator Rand Paul to mark the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, an amendment to rescind the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was rejected in a 9-86 vote this week. Only four lawmakers from each party, as well as Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, supported the legislation.
“Today, I offered the US Senate a chance to repeal the 9/11 2001 authorization for war to reclaim our constitutional power and send a message to the world that we are a nation of peace,” Paul said in a statement after the vote on Wednesday. “We should have risen above symbolism and … shown our respect for the Constitution, our fealty to the rule of law, and our sincere desire that peace, not perpetual war, be our legacy.”