Rand Paul takes a stand for the Constitution

The senator just introduced an amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

On Tuesday, the day after the 20-year anniversary of the Iraq War, Sen. Rand Paul introduced an amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

To recap, the 2001 AUMF was used for the U.S. to go into Afghanistan after 9/11. An earlier 1991 AUMF was used to implement the Gulf War. The 2002 AUMF was used by the U.S. to invade Iraq.

These authorizations all remain open-ended even though those missions have been completed. Being still open, various presidents in both parties have claimed these authorizations allow them to strike or wage wars in other places, something the executive was never intended to do based on the Constitution.

Sen. Paul sees the obvious danger in an opening for war at any time based on the whims of one person.

Constitutionally, only Congress has the power to declare war. Paul has long wanted all of these authorizations and unconstitutional excuses for presidents to unilaterally wage wars repealed.

“As we vote to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs, we need to take the additional step of also repealing the Authorization for the war in Afghanistan,” Paul said in a statement on Tuesday.  “The 2001 authorization to bring the 9/11 terrorists to justice was warranted, but like the Iraq war, the Afghan war has long ago ended – yet its authorization remains on the books.” 

War is sometimes necessary, but going to war should not be the decision of one person,” the senator added. “Ending congressional authorization for the Gulf war, Iraq war and Afghanistan war returns the war power to the American people and their representatives.

In February, Paul co-sponsored legislation that would sunset the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs.

This is not remotely new territory for Paul. The entire time he’s been in the U.S. Senate, over a decade, Paul has pushed back against presidents in both parties who believed they could ignore Congress and just go to war unilaterally. 

In his first year in 2011, the Obama administration claimed it could use the War Powers Resolution to bomb Libya. Sen. Paul insisted that Obama couldn’t do this and made a strong case against it.

By using Obama’s own words. 

Before he became president, Obama said in 2007 that “the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” 

Despite Libya obviously not being an “actual or imminent threat” to the U.S., the Senate, of course, defeated Paul’s resolution that year reclaiming Congress’s war powers in a vote that was 90-10.

President Obama had already bombed Libya a month before this resolution failed, and U.S. intervention in that country only destabilized the region further and many believe helped create the terrorist group the Islamic State.

Obama would eventually call his Libya actions the worst mistake of his presidency. It’s almost as if there are almost always unintended consequences to war and that fact is why the Founders made it so hard for presidents to wage it on their own.

If only Obama had listened to the Constitution and Paul at the time—or even himself from four years prior.

In 2016, in attempting to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs again, Paul observed how wildly they had been abused by the tail end of Obama’s last term, “Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.”

Paul was denied. Again.

That never meant he stopped trying.


And in different ways.

And here we are today. 

The Constitution should matter, especially when it comes to war. Somebody’s gotta fight for it.

And Rand Paul still is.

Like this article? Check out the latest BASEDPolitics podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or below:

YouTube player

Sign up for Our Email List

* indicates required
*By signing up for our email you consent to getting our emails directly in your inbox. These including our newsletter or other informational emails*

Our Latest Podcast

Related articles

Nikki Haley goes viral for INSANE claim about TikTok

I’m used to hearing politicians say crazy stuff. But...

Tennessee Republican fights for key education reform

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced his support for universal...

Thomas Massie is right: Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism

Only one Republican voted against the House resolution that...

How you know US aid to Ukraine might be coming to an end

Lindsey Graham said on CNN’s State of the Union...

Rand Paul: Why did the Left abandon its defense of free speech?

Rand Paul asked a great question. https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/1730256213059776625 The answer is simple:...
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunterhttp://LibertyTree.com
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for Rare.us.