Wednesday, in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) continued to help lead efforts in the Senate to ensure our troops have the authorities necessary to fight Islamist terrorism abroad. The hearing addressed Senate Joint Resolution 59 (S.J.Res.59), which Senator Young helped introduce. The legislation would replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) with an updated AUMF against al-Qaida, the Taliban, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Senator Young called the legislation “…an increasingly necessary legal update to enable DoD to take the fight to our enemies, to detain enemy combatants when we capture them, and to keep Americans safe.” Senator Young continued, “Passing this legislation would also demonstrate our continued support for our troops and the continued determination of the American people to defeat Islamist terrorists.”
John Bellinger, the former State Department Legal Advisor, said to Senator Young, “…I would just thank you senator again for your leadership. I know you have been interested in this from the very beginning. I thought your bill was very helpful. I know you have worked with the others on this. Particularly given your own military background, I salute you for what you have done.”
Since arriving in the Senate in January 2017, Senator Young has made the consideration and passage of a new AUMF a top priority of his work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In March of last year, Senator Young introduced legislation to authorize the use of force against ISIS and published an op-ed explaining why he believed it necessary. Last May, Senator Young spoke about the AUMF at the Heritage Foundation. In the last few months, as a Marine Corps veteran, Senator Young worked behind the scenes to break a deadlock in negotiations, draft compromise legislation, and push the process forward. On April 16, Senator Young helped introduce S.J.Res.59.
Text of the legislation is available here.