House Democrat pushes for repeal of military force law

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., plans to introduced legislation Tuesday that asks President Obama and Congress repeal the broad authority for the use of military force in the war on terror.

The law, known as the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, is a joint resolution passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001, authorizing the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

The resolution gives the president the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided" the attacks or those who harbored them. President George W. Bush signed the law on Sept. 18, 2001.

Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence committee, wants Congress to repeal the law by the end of 2014 – the same time U.S. combat forces are expected to leave Afghanistan.

Schiff, who may try to add his bill to the sweeping defense policy bill that the House considers this week, says he hopes the administration and Congress spends the next 18 months coming up with an alternative to the law that has given the president extensive power, including the authority to target suspected terrorists with lethal drone strikes.

Emerging threats beyond the borders of Afghanistan and the president's use of drone strikes have raised questions about the relevance of a law passed nearly 12 years later.

Schiff is not alone in pressing for a reevaluation of the law.

Several senators, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., met privately several weeks ago to discuss revising the law.

In a national security speech last month, President Obama said he wanted to work with Congress on revising the law "to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.