Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.; shown in photo) continues to fight to restore constitutional limits, his latest endeavor being a bill to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that allowed the U.S. invasion of Iraq — a law which remains on the books two years after the war was declared over by President Obama.
Paul is in the process of seeking co-sponsors for his bill and is relying on President Obama's support to bolster the bill's chance of passage.
In a letter to his colleagues, Paul explained the purpose of his proposal:
This bill will ensure that our chapter of action in Iraq is officially closed, and that any future President seeking to engage in the region will be required to come to Congress to gain authorization and support, as is Constitutionally required. I look forward to a bipartisan process that will close this chapter in our military history, and honor the sacrifices of those that have served.
This is not the first time that Paul launched an effort to repeal the AUMF. In 2011, he introduced an amendment to a defense authorization bill, observing at the time,
On several occasions this year, Congress has been ignored or remained silent while the President committed our forces to combat.
It is my intention to urge Congress to reclaim its constitutional authority over the decision to go to war, or to end a war — it is one of the body's most important powers. It is right that we wrest it back from a President who has shown he cannot be trusted to obey the Constitution or powers prescribed to Congress in it.
His measure failed in a 67-30 vote. According to senators from both parties, the White House had been opposed to the repeal of the AUMF.
Paul's decision to pursue this new measure follows an announcement January 7 by National Security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden that "The Administration supports the repeal of the Iraq AUMF," according to Yahoo News.
The announcement seems to mark a transition of the White House's position. In May 2013, President Obama promised that he would work with Congress to rewrite the AUMF for Afghanistan, but stayed silent on the Iraq war law.
But Tuesday, a senior administration official told Yahoo News,
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Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images