FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 8, 2023
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
Senators Continue Efforts to Return War Powers to Congress, Introduce the End Endless Wars Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), J.D. Vance (R-OH), and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the End Endless Wars Act, which would repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) 180 days after enactment. This legislation would restore the constitutional role of the people’s representatives in Congress to debate and decide whether, where, and how to authorize the use of military force.
“If there exists any desire to reclaim our Constitutional power and send a message to the world that we are nation of peace, Congress should pass this bill and repeal the 2001 Authorization for war. After all, the 2001 AUMF never intended to authorize worldwide war, all the time, everywhere, forever,” said Dr. Paul.
“The 2001 AUMF was enacted in response to the brutal attacks waged on 9/11 by terrorist groups based in Afghanistan. Twenty-two years later, the 2001 AUMF is still being used but for conflicts far beyond the boundaries of Afghanistan. Today, we have a defense budget approaching a trillion dollars, we have a military-industrial complex growing richer every day that we remain at war, and we have troops deployed across the world under vague authorities like the 2001 AUMF with no defined mission or objectives set by Congress. The 2001 AUMF has become one of the many instruments of misuse, and it is time for members of Congress to end this authority that keeps us in endless wars,” said Sen. Lee.
“No president should have the authority to singlehandedly wage war. We need to return this power to the people and repeal this authorization that has far outlived its’ purpose,” said Sen. Braun.
The 2001 AUMF was passed days after the attacks of 9/11 to bring the terrorists responsible to justice. The wording of the 2001 AUMF was precisely worded to authorize the President to make war on those who attacked us on 9/11 or anyone who harbored them. Not a word about making war on “associated forces.” Not a word on making war on their descendants. Not a word on making worldwide war on religious extremism. But that’s exactly what the 9/11/2001 AUMF has become — a catchall for permanent war.
Since its passage, presidential administrations of both parties have used the 2001 AUMF to justify wars in over 20 countries, from Afghanistan to Libya, to Somalia, to Yemen. By not repealing the 2001 AUMF any President alone has the ability to decide where and when to engage in hostilities without congressional approval. The result has been thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars spent in endless conflicts across the globe.
In March, Congress the Senate took a step in the right direction and repealed the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs. Dr. Paul introduced an amendment to the effort that would have additionally repealed the 2001 AUMF – the final vote tally of his amendment was 9-86.
Dr. Paul has continually been a leading voice in Congress on the need to repeal outdated AUMFs to prevent potential misuse by the executive branch. He has also raised concerns over the use of military force without congressional authorization.
You can read the End Endless Wars Act HERE.