Senator Schatz Calls for Full Congressional Review of the President’s Forthcoming Proposed AUMF

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) issued the following statement in response to reports that President Obama plans to send to Congress a proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) specific to the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

“While I have not seen the President’s proposal for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, sending an AUMF to Congress is a critical first step.  Congress must exercise its constitutional role in authorizing the use of force.  Under the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, the President does not have the authority to conduct an open-ended war against ISIL.

“ISIL is a group of barbaric terrorists and their extreme tactics display a shocking brutality that must be confronted.  But the United States needs a clear strategy for defeating this threat.  Congress should revoke the existing AUMFs and debate a strategy for a new authorization tailored specifically for ISIL.  A new time-limited and geographically-targeted authorization will help sharpen our policy and align appropriations for the mission.  And it must make clear that the United States cannot commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIL.”

Last December, Senator Schatz and Senator Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to submit for Congressional consideration a proposed AUMF specific to ISIL.