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.
“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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