Washington, DC — Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ron Paul (R-TX) today introduced legislation to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution passed by Congress and signed into law by the President last fall. Following is DeFazio’s statement:
“I heard no new evidence today from Secretary Powell’s address to the United Nations, that would convince me that military action in Iraq is necessary to improve security of Americans.
“Americans want the President to lay a clear case for immediate military action in Iraq, but the Administration’s message keeps changing- six months ago, their case hinged on regime change, three months ago it was Saddam thwarting inspections, three weeks ago it was possible possession of chemical weapons, today its tenuous terrorist links. If the case was clear, it would have been clear from day one.
“Our nation’s immediate threat is still Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda terrorist network. We have full knowledge of North Korea’s equally rapidly developing nuclear weapons program under the control of an equally diabolical leader. There’s well-published accounts of several Mid-east governments aiding and funding known terrorists. Of America’s imminent threats, Saddam Hussein is much lower on the list.
“Saddam Hussein is a brutal untrustworthy tyrant, but he is being contained, and we should allow weapons inspectors to continue their work.
“The President seeks war, this is clear. The Constitution grants the Congress sole authority to declare war, and I believe the President should come before Congress to seek that authority. Our resolution allows him that option.”
The legislation introduced todaywould repeal Public Law 107-243. The bill, House Joint Resolution 20 (H.J. Res 20) reads in total:
“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. Repeal of Public Law 107-243.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 116 Stat. 1498) is hereby repealed.”
The legislation repeals the broad delegation of authority Congress gave to the President in October, to launch military action against Iraq. Under this legally-binding resolution, the President would have to return to Congress to seek authority to launch a preventive attack on Iraq.