Hagerty Files NDAA Amendment to Modernize Military Authorizations

November 18, 2021

Would repeal ’91 and ’02 AUMFs and replace them with an updated authorization to prevent and respond to terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would reassert Congress’ constitutional war powers authority over the Executive Branch by repealing the outdated Saddam-era authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) and replace them with updated authorities tailored to defending against current threats from terrorists and militants, including those backed by the Iranian regime.

“After watching the Biden Administration’s ongoing appeasement to the Iran regime and its poorly planned disastrously executed withdrawal from Afghanistan, I remain convinced that Congress must not only repeal the outdated authorizations, but replace them with stronger, more strategically tailored approaches. That is why I am filing the same amendment that I offered in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” Senator Hagerty said. “The authority to declare war lies with Congress, but for decades Democrats and Republicans have irresponsibly ceded more and more authority to the Executive Branch. It is long overdue for these Saddam-era AUMFs to be repealed, but as a business person and former diplomat, I firmly believe it’s foolish to take a card off the table unless you’re going to put one down that’s stronger, especially when adversaries continue to attack you.”

In June, Hagerty and other colleagues requested a public hearing and classified briefing before the Foreign Relations Committee considered any repeal of the authorizations. Menendez agreed to hold a classified briefing, which was conducted July 12, and a public hearing on August 3.

In the public hearing, Hagerty explained his solutions-oriented approach to the debate and urged Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to provide written feedback on his legislative language. After Hagerty’s amendment failed to be adopted in Committee, he vowed to offer it on the Senate floor when the SFRC-passed measure to repeal the Iraq AUMFs without any replacement is considered.