Republican Senators Call For Public Hearing Before Senate Vote On War Powers (Update)

Photo: U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R) Tennessee

Photo Credit: hagerty.sen.gov  

Article Update Published June 24, 2021

Update –

United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, yesterday applauded Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for agreeing to committee oversight before the committee considers legislation to repeal the 2002 and 1991 authorizations for use of military force against Iraq.

Hagerty continues to urge the Chairman to hold both a classified briefing and a public hearing with the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of National Intelligence so the Senate fully comprehends the legislation’s implications for U.S. national security interests in the Middle East.

Senator Hagerty said, “There is nothing more serious for Congress to consider than matters of war and peace, which is why I applaud the Chairman for agreeing to work with me and my colleagues to conduct appropriate oversight so that we may fully evaluate the conditions on the ground and the full implications of repealing the 2002 AUMF for U.S. operations in the Middle East, and for ensuring the safety of U.S. diplomats, service members, and other government employees in Iraq and throughout the region.” 

“I have made no decision about how I will vote on this repeal, and believe both a classified briefing and a public hearing with cabinet-level national security officials are necessary in order for this committee to address comprehensively this matter of national security,” Hagerty concluded.

Original Article Below:

Published June 23, 2021

Washington, D.C. – United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) requesting a public hearing with the Secretaries of State and Defense as well as outside experts and a classified member briefing before the committee decides to consider legislation to repeal the 2002 and 1991 authorizations for use of military force against Iraq. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

The senators wrote, “We respectfully request that S. J. Res. 10, a joint resolution to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, and for other purposes, which is on the Committee’s business meeting agenda for June 22, 2021, be held over until the committee conducts a public hearing and a classified briefing on the issue.”         

“We should fully evaluate the conditions on the ground, the implications of repealing the 2002 AUMF for our friends, and how adversaries—including ISIS and Iranian backed militia groups—would react.”  

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“It is also important to consider the policy and potential legal consequences of our reduced presence in the region and the impending withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. Given that the previous administration opposed repeal of the 2002 AUMF and the Obama administration cited the 2002 AUMF as an authority to intervene against ISIS, the Senate and the American people should hear from the Biden administration regarding their legal analysis and their strategy to continue to protect the American people, our personnel, and our allies and partners in the region. The administration should also make its case to Congress in a closed, classified setting to ensure every question is answered,” the senators continued. 

The full text of the letter can be found here or below.

Dear Chairman Menendez, 

We respectfully request that S. J. Res. 10, a joint resolution to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, and for other purposes, which is on the Committee’s business meeting agenda for June 22, 2021, be held over until the committee conducts a public hearing and a classified briefing on the issue. 

We support Congress asserting its constitutional role and believe it is our duty to exercise our oversight responsibilities with respect to the Executive branch. As such, we would support this Committee undertaking serious deliberations to carefully evaluate S. J. Res. 10, which would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (“2002 AUMF”) and the 1991 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution. Whether and when to authorize the use of military force is among the most consequential matters that this Committee or the Congress ever considers. 

There are weighty questions, however, about the implications of repealing the 2002 AUMF, which should cause this committee to pause before we act. We believe it is critical that every member of this Committee fully understand the scope and use of existing legal authorities, the current threats to the U.S. and its allies and partners, and the implications for our national security and foreign policy. 

We should fully evaluate the conditions on the ground, the implications of repealing the 2002 AUMF for our friends, and how adversaries—including ISIS and Iranian backed militia groups—would react. It is also important to consider the policy and potential legal consequences of our reduced presence in the region and the impending withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. 

Given that the previous administration opposed repeal of the 2002 AUMF and the Obama administration cited the 2002 AUMF as an authority to intervene against ISIS, the Senate and the American people should hear from the Biden administration regarding their legal analysis and their strategy to continue to protect the American people, our personnel, and our allies and partners in the region. The administration should also make its case to Congress in a closed, classified setting to ensure every question is answered. 

Before we decide whether to markup S. J. Res. 10, we respectfully request that the Committee hold a public hearing with testimony from the Secretaries of State and Defense and from outside experts, and that members receive a classified briefing from the Departments of State and Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

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One thought on “Republican Senators Call For Public Hearing Before Senate Vote On War Powers (Update)

  • June 24, 2021 at 5:15 pm
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    Far as I am concerned, there never was any legitimate to go to war with Iraq! For those who disagree Please; hear me out.

    Saddam was Horrible to his own people. Everyone knows that and agrees however, he was never any serious threat to America in 2002! Our war was with Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi National hiding out in Afghanistan. Not only were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq but Al Qaida terrorists practically Begged him to allow them to use parts of Iraq for training purposes. He refused!!! That’s right, I said: HE REFUSED!! That has been proven. So we basically attacked an innocent nation for no reason other than Bush Jr did not like him. Biblically; that is a sin!

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