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Expand chart
Data: Congressional Research Service/Axios research; Table: Will Chase/Axios

The last time an authorization of military force was repealed was in 1974, and some ancient authorizations remain on the books, according to the Congressional Research Service and House Historian.

Why it matters: Lawmakers in both parties have framed repeals as a rare instance of the legislative branch wresting some control back from the executive branch. That's especially true in the post-9/11 era, when Congress’ authority on war powers is often overlooked.

  • The longest-standing authorizations include a 1798 one targeting French vessels.
  • Another is an 1819 law to address piracy in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Other authorizations passed in the early 19th century were repealed only in the 1950s.

What they're saying: "I think it's incredibly significant," Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) said of Congress taking steps to repeal AUMFs.

  • He's introduced bills to repeal AUMFs from 1957 and 1991.
  • "This is not a partisan issue; this is about institutional prerogatives," said Meijer, an Army veteran.

Go deeper

Congress fights over its own war power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Congress is about to repeal a president's authorization to use military force for the first time in about half a century, kicking off a debate about restoring its role in authorizing future wars.

Why it matters: Democrats are eager to declare they've succeeded in facilitating an official end to America's "endless wars." The 2002 AUMF that justified the Iraq war was cited as recently as the January 2020 assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."