WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today in a hearing laid out his legislation that allows Congress to reassert its constitutional war powers authority over the executive branch by repealing the outdated Saddam-era authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) and replace them with updated authorities tailored to today’s challenges like Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime.
Hagerty, who had urged Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID) to hold today’s hearing before the committee votes to sustain or repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs, explained, “As a lifelong businessman, as a former diplomat, I’m loath to ever unilaterally take leverage off the table, unless we’re getting something for it, or unless we simultaneously put another card back on the table.”
Hagerty believes that updated congressional authorizations are needed because terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism are continuing to escalate attacks on Americans and American allies in the Middle East.
“The Executive Branch will only be in a stronger position if Congress authorizes it to defend Americans in harm’s way. That’s why I’ve authored legislative language that would do three things: first, it would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military in Iraq. Second, it would authorize the President to defend our national security interests against continuing threats that are posed by terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism operating in Iraq. And third, it would authorize the President to prevent and respond to attacks against Americans by terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism who were operating in Iraq,” Senator Hagerty said.
Hagerty urged Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to provide written feedback on the legislative language that he has proposed before the committee votes to sustain or repeal Wednesday.
In a Washington Times op-ed today, Hagerty wrote about what is at stake in this debate, and how important it is for Congress to function at its best on fundamental questions of war and peace.
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