Document: White House Letter of Notice to Congress on Syria Strike

Senators Kaine, Corker Propose Legislation to Update Authorities Used to Fight Terror Abroad

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over authorizations for use of military force and is scheduled to debate, amend, and vote on the proposed legislation the week of April 23.

The new AUMF would allow the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and designated associated forces", and it requires the White House to notify Congress about any military action undertaken using the authorization within 48 hours. Such a notification triggers a 60-day period during which legislation to remove the authority to use military force against the new associated force or in the new foreign country will qualify for expedited consideration.

11 attacks. Under the US Constitution, Congress, not the president, has the right to authorize war.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, "No President of the United States, no matter party or political ideology, has the authority to unilaterally start a war".

Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told VOA that while the Syria strikes had forced Congress to confront the issue again, the scale and scope of the decision was considerable.

The Senate proposal also drew criticism from Representative Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, who tried to open a debate on the AUMF in the House a year ago.

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Corker said the new measure would give the administration "the flexibility to be successful that they now have, but it also keeps Congress in the loop in having the ability to stop it". But because Congress has shown such difficulty tackling war-related votes, skeptics worry it would just end up stretching on for years, like earlier authorizations, if Congress failed to act. "I'm opposed to doing it in a way that could lead to what happened in 2001".

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, one of three Democrats who sponsored Monday's new authorization, also said "there's a whole series of potential actions" Congress could take in response to the decision to strike Syria, which he called "illegal and - absent a broader strategy ... reckless".

"Whatever you may say about the humanitarian needs that protect innocent civilians in Syria, those were Syrian civilians, so they don't fall into the third justification... for military action, Grayson told Stranahan".

Lawfare has a great explainer on what the new bill would do differently from the existing AUMF, which it seems, isn't much.

"Our proposal finally repeals those authorizations and makes Congress do its job by weighing in on where, when, and with who we are at war", said Senator Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees. Many in Congress supported the strikes, and others, such as Tennessee Republican Sen.

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