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Sen. Rand Paul stands for Constitution, seeks to 'return war power to the American people'

Published in Blog on March 22, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is a Convention of States endorser, is insisting war powers return to elected representatives and the American people – not the executive branch.

Paul introduced an amendment on Tuesday to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which allowed the U.S. to go into Afghanistan after 9/11. The authorization remains open today, in addition to a 1991 and 2002 AUMF used to initiate the Gulf War and invade Iraq.

Despite the completion of these missions, the authorizations remain open over 20 years later. Constitutionally, only Congress has the power to declare war. Yet presidents in both parties have leveraged these clearances as a means for waging war in other places. 

That is not the intended authority of the executive branch, and Paul believes it needs to end. 

SEE ALSO: Exploitable emergency powers: France’s cautionary tale for America

“War is sometimes necessary, but going to war should not be the decision of one person,” Paul said in a press release. “Ending congressional authorization for the Gulf war, Iraq war and Afghanistan war returns the war power to the American people and their representatives.”

Legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs recently passed a Senate committee with bipartisan support, but the 2001 authorization for Afghanistan bears different opinions. 

In all three cases, returning power to where it belongs constitutionally is a win for the people. But the question is, will Washington willingly do so?

When it comes to term limits and other boundaries on federal power, we know it's essentially impossible for the government to restrict itself. But with Article V of the Constitution, the people can return power to the state level.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention to proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington DC.

I support Convention of States; a national movement to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of an Article V convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here:

I ask that you support Convention of States and consider becoming a co-sponsor. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have: or (540) 441-7227.

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