Durbin, Leahy, Ossoff Introduce New Legislation To Terminate AUMFs No Later Than 10 Years After Entactment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA), today introduced new legislation—the Accountability for Endless Wars Act of 2021—to terminate authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) and declarations of war no later than 10 years after the enactment of such authorizations or declarations.  AUMFs set the legal framework, parameters, and constitutional basis for the United States’ military engagements.

“The Constitution is clear – only the U.S. Congress has the power to declare war.  But for too long, Congress has refused to take responsibility,” Durbin said.  “Administrations of both parties have used AUMFs on the books to justify military action without returning to Congress, and Congress has been happy to sit idly by and avoid taking hard votes.  It’s time for that to change.  This new legislation is an effort to prevent the future misuse of authorizations and strengthen Congressional oversight over war powers.”

“For as long as U.S. forces have been sent to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other foreign lands, I have said that the Senate must fulfill its obligation to thoroughly debate the pros and cons of putting our men and women in harm’s way.  That is Congress’ role under the Constitution, and this bill is a step toward fulfilling that obligation,” said Leahy.

“This bill will force the Congress to take responsibility for its Constitutional obligations to declare war and authorize the use of force instead of delegating open-ended authorities indefinitely to the President,” said Ossoff.