Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today introduced S.1919, which would repeal the Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) for Iraq and officially bring the Iraq war to a close. This bipartisan effort is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jon Tester (D- Mont.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
"Two years ago, President Obama declared the war in Iraq over. With the return of our troops and practical side of the mission concluded, I feel it is necessary to bring the war to an official and legal end. This bipartisan piece of legislation expressly preserves the President's authority to protect our embassy and personnel in Iraq, and ensures that our military involvement in Iraq is officially closed and that any future engagement will require Congressional authorization and support, as required by the Constitution," Sen. Paul said.
"I was one of 23 senators who voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2002 because I was never presented with compelling evidence of a clear and present threat to our domestic security. Now that American troops have come home, it makes sense to bring this chapter in our nation's history to a close. While sectarian conflict and violence still persist in Iraq, it must be the Iraqis- not the men and women of the U.S. military- who now make the difficult choices, forge a stable and inclusive political order and steer their country to peace and prosperity," said Sen. Wyden.
"The men and women of the military who served our country in Iraq did so bravely and heroically. We must always honor their service and sacrifice, and remember those we lost," said Sen.Gillibrand. "Part of honoring their service is ensuring that we in Congress do our duty- and no President, Democrat or Republican, should have a blank check when it comes to war. It is important that we bring this war to its legal and official end while preserving the President's authority to protect our military and embassy personnel, by closing the open-ended war resolution."
"I am proud to join my colleagues in calling for the authorization to use military force in Iraq to be repealed. This legislation provides the necessary closure of our military involvement there while providing for the protection of diplomatic personnel and the continuation of intelligence work deemed vital to national security. Our men and women in uniform fought courageously in Iraq and have returned home, and their bravery and sacrifice should be celebrated across the nation," Sen. Lee said.
"By officially ending the war in Iraq, Congress is sending a clear, bipartisan message: it's time to do more nation-building here at home. We need to strengthen America's infrastructure and continue to reduce our deficit. Doing so will strengthen our economy and create jobs in Montana and around our nation," Sen. Tester said.
"We have finally ended our military involvement in Iraq and brought our brave men and women home. Now, it is time to formally end this war," Sen. Merkley said.
"Now that President Obama has ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home, it's time to end the authorization of U.S. military involvement in Iraq," said Sen. Warren. "This bill is a reminder that Congressional authorization for the use of force should be limited and that military action is always a last resort."