Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Senate Votes to Repeal the Iraq AUMFs

In 1991, Congress passed a resolution to Authorize the Use of Military Force in Iraq, In 2002 it did it again. Yesterday, the Senate voted to repeal both. This is more-or-less like Congress undeclaring war against Japan in 1973. An AUMF is kind of like a declaration of war in that it authorizes the president to use his powers as commander-in-chief to use military force against a foreign country. Actually formally declaring war is Not Done anymore. AUMFs are the way to go these days, as they allow Congress to shift responsibility/blame for an unpopular war to the president. There is no need to bomb Iraq right now, so Congress wants to cancel that power lest some future president (without mentioning any names) misuse it. The bill is expected to pass the House.

The vote in the Senate was 66-30. That means that 30 senators want to keep the AUMF in place. The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch (R-ID), voted against the bill. He said it will indicate to the world that the U.S. is disengaging from the Middle East and sees that as worrisome. He clearly belongs to the internationalist wing of the Republican Party (see next item). (V)

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