WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Senate is poised to repeal the laws that sent the U.S into war with Iraq two decades ago.
On Thursday, a bill to take away some military authority from the president passed a key vote in the senate.
Congress is trying to claw back some of its war powers from the president by repealing the 1991 and 2002 Iraq authorizations for the use of military force. A bill to do that is being led by Democrat Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Senator Todd Young.
“Leaving outdated authorizations on the books can lead to abuse. Presidents should have to come to Congress to start wars,” Kaine said.
On Thursday, 68 senators voted to move the legislation forward.
“The responsible, much needed, and I have to say, much neglected work finally legally bringing a war to a close,” Young said.
To actually pass in the Senate and the House, the bill must overcome opposition from those who think it will weaken the country’s military readiness.
Both Kaine and Young point out the Constitution still grants the president some separate military powers and there’s still another law allowing the president to go after terrorists.
“When there is an imminent threat of danger to the American people the president can still act,” Young said.
The Biden administration says it supports the bill.
“The Administration has said the repeal of these authorizations will not affect any ongoing military operations,” Kaine said.
Plus, supporters argue repealing these authorizations would acknowledge that Iraq is now a U.S. ally.
“Dropping these war authorizations has a way of sending a very powerful signal that the United States and Iraq working together will be a voice for stability in the region,” Kaine said.
Senator Kaine believes a final vote in the Senate could happen as soon as next week.