Hagerty Vows to Keep Pushing Congress to Modernize Military Authorizations and Counter Iran-Backed Attacks on Americans

August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today voted to sustain the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) after the committee rejected his amendment to replace the AUMFs with updated authorities tailored to address current security threats, including Iran’s escalation of attacks against Americans, including diplomats and troops, in the Middle East.

“I have approached this question—sustain or repeal—with much consideration and reflection, and believe strongly that it is past time for the AUMFs to be repealed, but I cannot in good conscience vote to do so when the Biden Administration is actively appeasing the Iranian regime, including ignoring escalating attacks on Americans and allies while offering the Iranian regime tens of billions in sanctions relief in nuclear negotiations,” said Senator Hagerty. “I offered to my colleagues what I believed to be a better, more constructive way for Congress to reassert our war powers and replace them with a more strategic approach. Despite my amendment not being agreed to today, I intend to offer it on the Senate floor when the measure to repeal the Iraq AUMFs is brought up for a vote. It is time for Congress to end the endless wars, but ensure the President—any President—remains empowered to protect American lives and interests.”

Hagerty urged Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman yesterday to provide written feedback on his legislative language before the Committee voted today, but the State Department failed to meet that deadline. 

In a Washington Times op-ed this week, 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.