Congress aims to rein in Biden's war powers, with Democratic Sen. Kaine leading bipartisan effort

Biden administration says it plans to end the "forever wars."
Joe Biden

Congress is making renewed efforts to limit presidential war power after largely allowing the White House to move on such matters without first asking for Capitol Hill authority  

A bipartisan effort is being led by Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine. He introduced a measure to the Senate on March 3, shortly after President Biden ordered  U.S. missiles to be fired into Syria in response to Iran-backed militia in the country firing rockets at a U.S. military base in Iraq, according to Politico.

Congress is looking to end three previous authorizations for the use of military force or AUMF.

One passed in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks, another in 2002 prior to the Iraq War, and another passed in 1991 for the Gulf War, according to The Hill.

In additions, Kaine and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez say they want to meet early next month with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan about what are the administration's "red lines" that foreign countries might cross to provoke a U.S. military response.

Biden has supported recent attempts to limit the war powers given to the executive branch to "ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a letter to Politico.

Kaine's bill would fully repeal the 1991 AUMF, which was passed under President George H. W. Bush to intervene against Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein after he invaded Kuwait and repeal the 2002 AUMF, according to the Heritage Foundation.

"The bill would formally end the authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars – 30 and 19 years, respectively, after these AUMFs were first passed, reasserting Congress’ vital role in not only declaring wars but in ending them," he said on his Senate website

Kaine also introduced the bill in 2020 with the aim of completely repealing the 1991 and 2002 AUMF and only replacing the 2001 AUMF with wording that would require a narrower authorization for the president.