The U.S. Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation to rescind authorization for the 1991 and 2002 Iraq wars, pushing Congress to take back its role in deciding whether to send U.S. combat troops outside the United States.
The legislation won 65-28 in a vote to end debate on the legislation, short of the required 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, paving the way for a vote on its approval later this week.
All votes against the legislation were Republicans.
According to Reuters, members of Congress have argued for years that the Senate has given Republican and Democratic leaders too much power over whether to send troops to war by issuing “open-ended” authorizations to wage war and then failing to withdraw them.
Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war, not the President.
Supporters of the current bill call the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq “zombie” licenses.
With the wars over and Iraq now a partner of the United States, the licenses are outdated and irrelevant, they say.
This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War in 2003.
“Withdrawing these authorizations will show the region and the world that the United States is not an occupying power, that the war in Iraq is over, that we are moving forward, and that we are working with Iraq as a strategic partner.
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