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Senator Feinstein Introduces Resolution to Set Expiration Date For AUMF Against Iraq at December 31, 2007

- Measure would transition the mission in Iraq, but allow U.S. forces to continue to provide logistics and training, border security, force protection, and counter-terrorism operations -

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced a resolution that sets an expiration date for the 2002 Authorization for Use Military Force against Iraq.

Under the resolution, the Authorization would expire on December 31, 2007 and require the President to return to Congress if he seeks to extend or renew it.

The legislation also allows for a limited U.S. military presence in Iraq after the current authorization expires for the following purposes:
  • Training of Iraqi security and police forces;
  • Force protection and security;
  • Assisting Iraqi forces with border security;
  • Targeted counter-terrorism operations; and
  • Logistical support.
“The time has come to change course in Iraq,” Senator Feinstein said on the Senate Floor.  “The Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved by Congress in October 2002, carries with it Congressional approval of this war.  The way to change course is to change that Authorization.

Therefore, today, I introduce a resolution that will put the expiration date of December 31, 2007, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

The President would be required to return to Congress if he seeks to renew the authorization.  The resolution recognizes that conditions have changed since the 2002 Authorization was approved.

Saddam is gone. An Iraqi government has been established.  It also recognizes the flaws of the 2002 Authorization.  Iraq in fact had no weapons of mass destruction. It was not closely allied with al Qaeda.

This resolution does not call for a precipitous withdrawal. Let me stress this.

But it sets a time limit – the remaining 10 months of the year – to stage an orderly redeployment and to transition this mission.”

The 2002 Authorization cited specific findings that Iraq constituted an “imminent threat” to the United States and its armed forces through possession of weapons of mass destruction, and the “capability and willingness” to use these weapons.  It also stated that Iraq sought a nuclear capability; that Iraq harbored international terrorists; and might provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations.

It is now clear that the 2002 Authorization reflects conditions which no longer exist in Iraq.

Therefore, Senator Feinstein believes that the authorization should have an expiration date, and if the President seeks to renew the authorization, he should come to Congress and make his case, based on the current realities in Iraq.

At the same time, the resolution does not call for an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces.  It would essentially transition the mission in Iraq and allow U.S. forces to continue to provide logistical support, training of Iraqi forces, border protection, and targeted counter-terrorism operations against Al Qaeda and other foreign fighters.

Following is the text of Senator Feinstein’s resolution:

Section 1:    “The authority conveyed by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243) shall expire on December 31, 2007, unless otherwise provided in a Joint Resolution (other than Public Law 107-243) enacted by Congress.”

Section 2:    Allows for certain military activities after the expiration date:

“Section 1 shall not be construed as prohibiting or limiting the presence of personnel or units of the Armed Forces of the United States in Iraq after December 31, 2007, for the following purposes:
  1. Training, equipping, and advising Iraqi security and police forces.
  2. Force protection and security for United States Armed Forces and civilian personnel.
  3. Support of Iraqi security forces for border security and protection, to be carried out with the minimum forces requires for that purpose.
  4. Targeted counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda and foreign fighters within Iraq.
  5. Logistical support in connection with activities under paragraphs (1) through (4).
Following is the statement Senator Feinstein delivered on the floor of the Senate:

“Yesterday the House of Representatives clearly expressed its support for our troops and disapproval of the President’s action to escalate the war.

Today it is the Senate turn.  Today I believe that by voting for cloture, a majority of the Senate will convey the same message.

We may not have 60 votes, but I believe we will have a majority.  Our forces have been in Iraq for four years.  $380 billion has been spent.

More than 3,000 troops have been killed, nearly 24,000 wounded. My home state of California has lost more than 300 brave men and women, with thousands injured.

Iraq is in chaos. Sunni fighting Shia.  Shia fighting Sunni. Car bombs. IEDs.  Assassinations. Mortar attacks. Downed helicopters. Death squads. Sabotaged infrastructure.

Every day, we learn of new attacks.  New casualties. New bloodshed. And no end in sight.  I believe this surge is a mistake.

Four years ago, United States armed forces went to Iraq to be liberators.  Today, they are caught in a bloody crossfire of internecine fighting.

The question is: Can the American military solve a civil war?  I don’t believe it can. And it was certainly not the mission Congress authorized in 2002.

So the time has come for the Senate to say so, just as the House has done.  The time has come to declare that our time has come and gone in Iraq.  The time has come to speak clearly.  And the time has come to change course.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved by Congress in October 2002, carries with it Congressional approval of this war.  The way to change course is to change that Authorization.

Therefore, today, I introduce a resolution that will put the expiration date of December 31, 2007, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

The President would be required to return to Congress if he seeks to renew the authorization.  The resolution recognizes that conditions have changed since the 2002 Authorization was approved.

Saddam is gone. An Iraqi government has been established.  It also recognizes the flaws of the 2002 Authorization.  Iraq in fact had no weapons of mass destruction. It was not closely allied with al Qaeda.

This resolution does not call for a precipitous withdrawal. Let me stress this.

But it sets a time limit – the remaining 10 months of the year – to stage an orderly redeployment and to transition this mission.

That mission would be limited to:
  • Training, equipping, and advising Iraqi security and police forces.
  • Force protection and security for United States Armed Forces and civilian personnel.
  • Support of Iraqi security forces for border security and protection, to be carried out with the minimum forces required for that purpose.
  • Targeted counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda and foreign fighters within Iraq.
  • Logistical support in connection with these activities.
I believe this legislation is the next logical step, following today.  It is simple.  It is concise. 

After the majority vote today sends our disapproval to the President, it is time to consider the next step.  I submit the resolution as a possible next step.

I ask unanimous consent that the text of this resolution be printed in the record immediately following my remarks.

I thank the Chair. I yield the floor.”

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