Rand Paul Shuts Down Unconstitutional Moves – Don’t Miss This!

Senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment on March 22, 2023, to revoke the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was enacted after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This proposal coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War and is a component of Senator Paul's broader campaign to restore Congress's war authority as defined by the Constitution.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the 2001 AUMF permitted the U.S. to enter Afghanistan, while the 1991 AUMF enabled the Gulf War. The 2002 AUMF was utilized by the U.S. to invade Iraq. Although these missions have concluded, the authorizations remain open-ended, granting presidents of both political parties the authority to launch strikes or conduct military operations in other regions without obtaining Congressional approval.

Senator Paul has long been an advocate for repealing these open-ended authorizations and unconstitutional excuses for presidents to unilaterally wage wars. He believes that only Congress has the power to declare war, and that it is dangerous for one person to have the ability to start a war at any time. In a statement on Tuesday, he said, “The 2001 permission to bring the 9/11 terrorists to justice was necessary, however like the War in iraq, the Afghan war has been over for a long time, but its authorization is still on the books. War can sometimes be necessary, but it shouldn't be up to one person to decide to go to war. Stopping Congress from giving permission for the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War gives the power to go to war back to the public and their representatives."

In February, Paul collaborated on a bill that proposed a sunset provision for both the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs. Since his appointment to the Senate in 2011, he has been pushing against presidents from both political parties who believe they can bypass Congress and initiate war on their own. At that time, President Obama had argued that he could use the War Powers Resolution to bomb Libya, despite it not posing an "actual or imminent threat" to the U.S. Paul opposed this by using Obama's own words from 2007, where he stated that "the President lacks the constitutional authority to unilaterally authorize a military assault in the absence of a genuine or impending threat to the national security." Unfortunately, Paul's proposal was defeated in a 90-10 vote, and U.S. involvement in Libya resulted in further destabilization of the region, with many believing it contributed to the formation of the terrorist group, the Islamic State.

In 2016, Paul endeavored once again to abolish the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, highlighting how President Obama had grossly misused them during his final term. He remarked that "these authorizations to use military force are being improperly invoked to legitimize American military engagements in seven different nations. Allowing both AUMFs to sunset will compel us to discuss whether we should continue with the Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria wars, and other interventions." However, his attempts were thwarted once again.

Senator Rand Paul continues to fight for Congress’s war powers as outlined in the Constitution. He believes that it is important for Congress to have control over when wars are declared and fought, as there are often unintended consequences to war that can be avoided if it is not left up to one person. It is clear that Senator Paul will never give up on this cause, and will continue to fight for what he believes is right.

Written by Staff Reports

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